Egypt street cleaners find human organs in garbage bin

Organ traders face strict imprisonment and could be fined one million Egyptian pounds

Dubai: Street cleaners in a northeastern Egyptian city found a medical waste bag in a garbage bin filled with human liver, other organs, and surgical instruments.


Mahmoud H., a cleaner, said he and his colleagues “found the remains when they were collecting garbage in the Al Janayen village in Suez. [The cleaners] immediately notified their supervisors so they could let the authorities investigate where the organs came from,” Al Arabiya reported.

Mahmoud said they feared the hospital from where the instruments were coming from might be trafficking human organs or performing unauthorised abortions.

Security officials immediately arrived at the scene and moved the waste to the Directorate of Health Affairs and the Department of Environmental Affairs in the governorate.

Police are investigating to determine the source of the organs.

In May 2017, the Parliament’s Legislative Committee approved amendments which included Article 17, which states that anyone who removes an organ from a human body with the intention of illegally transplanting it is violating Articles 2,3, and 4 and shall be punished by imprisonment and a fine between 500,000 and one million Egyptian pounds, according to the news daily Egypt Independent.

However, poverty still drives some Egyptians to sell their organs in illicit transactions.

The World Health Organisation (WHO), which has been monitoring transplant tourism worldwide, described Egypt as “a hub” for organ trafficking and a regional centre for organ transplantation.

WHO said Egypt is ranked among the top five countries where this trade is most common.

There are 42 hospitals and medical centers licensed to operate for organ transplants in Egypt.

— Hams Saleh is an intern at Gulf News

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