Tuesday, July 21, 2009

EGYPT: Selling Kidneys to Pay the Bills

By Cam McGrath

"CAIRO, Jul 21 (IPS) - Karim borrowed money to expand his bakery. When the money ran out, and facing the prospect of imprisonment if unable to repay his debts, the 36-year- old Egyptian baker sold his kidney......

"There is a well-known broker who works with several hospitals and targets all his victims in cafes," Mostafa says. "He drives up in a BMW, promising unemployed men that he can secure them a job in the Gulf or Europe - all they need is a routine medical exam for the application. They do the tests, but at the hospital they discover a problem, usually kidney stones."

The broker agrees to cover the cost of the treatment, which he will deduct from the patient's first pay cheque. But when the doctors operate, the kidney is found to be "damaged" and needs to be removed. Desperate for the job, the patient agrees to the operation. The victim only discovers the ruse when the job fails to materialise and the broker stops returning his calls. "In this case, he doesn't even get paid for his kidney," Mostafa says......."

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