In Afghanistan, everything has value, except human life
Afghanistan has a 70 percent poverty rate. There has been ongoing war and strife with no end in sight. This is a land that lacks adequate farmland, and what they do have often is used to grow and sell opium, a lucrative cash crop. The only people with means are those who grow opium, and the warlords kill, steal and destroy others for their own benefit.
Given this situation, there is little someone can do who has experienced a crop failure or there has a serious illness in their family. Others have overwhelming debts that come due. Still others leave their land to get away from constant Taliban attacks that make farming and life dangerous.
There is one last option, and it is a desperate one. Herat is Afghanistan’s third largest city with a population of roughly half a million. There is a place in Herat called the Injil District, ironically given the Muslim name for the New Testament, where there have been over 1,000 kidneys sold in the last five years according to a February 2021 article in Tolo News.
Those who sell their kidneys are usually young men, but they can also be women as well. One young woman donated her kidney to pay for her father’s medical bills. Another woman, who was in her first trimester, sold her kidney to pay off debts her husband had incurred.
The organ trade is illegal in Afghanistan, just as it is in almost all countries. But rule of law does not go beyond a piece of paper in this part of the world. There is little resistance to the organ trade, as long as they are discreet … or if they go to Herat.
Loqman Hakim Hospital is where these kidney transplants happen. The medical professionals do not ask questions about the source of the kidney, and doctors do not believe it’s their business to ask such questions. They have performed 1,000 kidney transplants in the last five years, and they do not deny that they make good money from it.
Ebrahim Hakimi, a local elder in Herat, points out that men could take up armed robbery, but instead they sell a kidney. Mahdi Hadid, a member of Herat’s provincial council gave news reporters this grim summary, “In Afghanistan, everything has value, except human life.” Another medical doctor told reporters, “Afghans sell their sons and daughters for money. How does that compare with selling kidneys?”
Chief of State: President Ashraf Ghani
Head of Gov.: President Ashraf Ghani
Evangelical Christians: 0%
Dominant Religion: Islam
Persecution Ranking: 2nd
Life Expectancy: 60.93 Years
Literacy Rate: 31%
Population Below Poverty Line: 36%
Refugees Living in Afghanistan: 1,324,996
- The New Arab, Feb. 7, 2021
- The Telegraph, Feb. 23, 2021
- KSU, the Sentinel Newspaper, Feb. 9, 2021
- Tolo News, Feb. 7, 2021
- Photo Credit: Sohaib Ghyasi, Unsplash.com