Medical teachers, students urge govt to make human skeletons available in local markets

Our Correspondent | Published: February 20, 2018 00:14:14 | Updated: February 20, 2018 11:44:57


Rajshahi DB police recently arrested one with smuggled human skeletons. — FE Photo

With the starting of classes of first year MBBS course in all medical colleges of the country,  demand for a human skeleton for each student is felt greatly as that is an essential part of curriculum for Anatomy subject for the first year and the second year students.  To study his compulsory subject, each student along with their academic studies starts to procure a human skeleton as a part of their practical study. Since there is no legal procedure to preserve human skeletons and there having no legal skeleton market here in Bangladesh, and medical students find it difficult to procure a skeleton and taking this opportunity, a huge number of skeletons are smuggled into the country from India and those are being sold in the 'black markets'  at an exorbitant price. The medical students at their first year of study were facing dilemma in collecting money to purchase a skeleton in due time.

Students and teachers of Rajshahi Medical College in this connection have demanded to the government to find out any legal way to preserve human skeletons or to make human skeletons available in some local markets by importing those from abroad.  They further informed, such an attempt of the government to make available human skeletons in some local markets will save thousands of medical students from being harassed and the students will be then able to purchase human skeletons at a fixed or competitive price.

Mijanur Rahman, a 5th year student of Rajshahi Medical College Hospital informed while he entered into the college as a first year student, he felt utterly distressed in procuring a human skeleton. Later on, at the end of first year course, he was able to purchase a human skeleton from a middleman at Tk 30,000 and then he could attend his Anatomy class regularly. Before procuring the skeleton, he had to visit the room of one of his friends regularly and studied there.

Probesh Roy, an MBBS student from Nepal studying at a private medical college in Rajshahi informed he has already spent a huge amount of money in getting admission and after admission he had to purchase many costly books and now it was very tough for him to procure a skeleton for Anatomy study. He said, he has not yet been able to procure a skeleton. Some of his fellow students have offered him to collect a skeleton for Tk 50,000 to Tk 60,000 but even after being agreed to pay the amount, he could not procure a skeleton.

Zakia Nur, another student informed, she had purchased a skeleton at Taka 60,000 through a ward boy.  She said, marketing of skeletons being banned in the country, students have to procure those at an exorbitant price from illegal black market.

According to sources, nearly 9,500 new students are enrolled every year for studying MBBS courses in various medical colleges of the country. Of those, 3,500 are enrolled in government run medical colleges and rests are enrolled in non-government institutions. Almost all those first year enrolled students require to procure a human skeleton each for their study and all those skeletons are smuggled in to the country from India.

Mohibul Hasan, Professor of Surgery of Rajshahi Medical College informed, his one son and a daughter have been admitted to medical colleges last year. He has to purchase a human skeleton in an illegal way in exchange of Tk 60,000. Human skeleton is an essential ingredient for study of all students of medical colleges yet all of them needed to purchase that secretly at an exorbitant price which is unacceptable, Professor Hasan added.  He opined, the government should take step to legalise trading of human skeleton and marketing of those considering the case of study of medical students and their plight during procuring a human skeleton.

Mozammel Haque, Professor of the department of Laparoscopy of Rajshahi Medical College Hospital informed, the government must take initiative to preserve and marketing of human skeletons considering the study of medical students. Unless the government allows importing human skeletons in legal way and to process and marketing of human skeletons in the country, the plight of students in procuring a skeleton will continue.

Saiful Islam, an official of Detective Police in Rajshahi informed recently police recovered nine human skeletons from a house of Sukur Ali of area of bordering Kasiadanga area. He revealed sensitive information in connection with human skeleton smuggling. He said, the kingpin of human skeleton smuggling in Rajshahi was one Piarul who carry those human skeletons to Bangladesh from India and he stored those in his house. Each human skeletons are purchased for 4,000 to 5,000 rupees and those are sold as wholesale items  to other skeleton traders for Tk 35,000 to Tk 40,000 each while a single piece is sold at Tk 50,000 to Tk 60,000 to the students of medical colleges. 

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