Indonesian domestic worker claims she was unaware her kidney was removed while working in Qatar

Photo illustration.
Photo illustration.

Stories highlighting employers who treat Indonesian migrants workers with respect and appreciation, like the one about a Taiwanese actor who recently said he was planning to give Rp 868 million in inheritance to his caregiver, are few and far between. Sadly, stories of abuse and exploitation are much more common. 

But what Sri Rabitah says she experienced at the hands of her employers is especially shocking. According to the 25-year-old Lombok resident, her employers removed one of her kidneys without her knowledge while she worked briefly in Doha, Qatar.

Sri told the Indonesian media that, in June 2014, she sought work in the Middle East. Going through an agency, Sri thought she was being sent to work for a family in Abu Dhabi, UAE. However, she ended up in Doha working for a Palestinian household.

Once there, Sri’s employer told her that she had to go for a medical check up. Oddly, at the hospital – the name of which Sri can’t recall – she was told she was going to be put under anesthesia.

“Without permission, I received an injection. How come a medical needed an injection? The doctor said I was feeling weak, so I was told to relax,” Sri told Detik today.

After that, Sri said she remembered being taken to another room containing surgical tools before the anesthesia came into full effect.

When she came to, she said she felt a sharp pain on the right side of her lower back, where there was also an incision scar. She also had blood in her urine shortly after this incident.

Sri never got a satisfactory explanation about what truly happened at the hospital, and she was sent packing home to Indonesia about a week afterwards as her employers deemed her unhealthy and unfit to work.

Sri frequently experienced pain in her lower back for three years, and she only found out why after she had it checked out at a hospital in Lombok recently.

“It turned out I only have one kidney left. The doctor explained to me and showed me the intact kidney and where the other kidney was. My right kidney was replaced with some kind of coiled tube as its replacement,” she said.

Sri is scheduled for surgery on March 2 for the removal of the tube.

The House of Representatives (DPR) is calling on the government to find the people responsible, both in Indonesia and in Qatar, and to cover all of Sri’s medical costs.

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