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Tanzania: Hospital Turns Away 36 People Seeking to Sell Kidneys for Money

There has been a perception that selling a kidney is the easiest way to riches given that science has proved an individual can survive with one of the two organs.

This was the case at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania where 36 people had lined up, seeking to donate their kidneys in exchange for money.

The facility’s management said the persons had gone to inquire about the possibility of selling their kidneys to patients requiring transplants, in their bid to get out of financial constraints.

However, doctor Jonathan Mngumi, a specialist in kidney diseases at MNH said the hospital turned them away as the country’s laws prohibit one from selling body organs.

“We are not doing business. You can’t just come in and offer a kidney for sale for whatever reason. It is illegal,” said Mngumi.

The hospital’s chief of communications, Aminiel Aligaesha, said Tanzania’s Ministry of Health guidelines allows kidney donations only from blood relatives of patients in need of the organ.

An illustration of human kidneys. PHOTO | COURTESY

“If a patient requires a transplant, our procedure is that the organ must be donated by someone who is a blood relative,” said Aligaesha.

Before the donation, Mngumi said the hospital’s committee assesses the donor to find out if they are giving out the organ willingly to prevent people from being exploited.

As a result, the health centre’s management asked individuals contemplating kidney sales as a way of making money to instead work hard.

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