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7 arrested, hospital sealed in Rawalpindi

Pakistan The Nation The Nation | January 11, 2015

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RAWALPINDI - Police swooped down a private hospital in Gulzar-e-Quaid and arrested seven persons including a surgeon and an anaesthetist for their alleged involvement in illegal transplantation of kidneys on Saturday.
Police also took four people, including a foreigner, into custody who were present in the private hospital for kidney’s transplantation. A kidney and other surgical instruments were also seized by police while the patients were sent to Benazir Bhutto Hospital for medical treatment.
According to Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Civil Line Circle Farhan Aslam, a police team led by Station House Officer (SHO) Police Station Airport Wasim Faraz conducted a raid on a private hospital “Hira Hospital” located in Commercial Centre at Gulzar-e-Quaid and held seven people including two senior doctors engaged in illegal kidney transplantation.
He said that police also recovered four people including a foreigner from the hospital who were there for kidney selling and transplantation. The accused were shifted to police station for questioning whereas the patients were sent to BBH for medical treatment. Police sealed the hospital and took all the equipment and record in custody, DSP Farhan added...

Overhauling China's organ transplant system could take some time

 China Daily USA
China Daily USA| Jan 8, 2015

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By Chris Davis

Every year in China there are about 300,000 patients who need an organ transplant but only about 10,000 surgeries are performed. That according to Huang Jiefu, former vice-minister of health.

There are a number of reasons for the shortfall. The main one is that Chinese people are much less willing than other populations to donate their organs after death. Huang estimates that six out of 10,000,000 people in China donate, where as in a country like Spain the figure is 370.

In most countries, demand for transplanted organs heavily outstrips supply. But China also faces other barriers. As the current issue of the Lancet reports, "Culturally, the concept of organ donation contradicts the traditional Confucian view that one is born with a complete body, which should end the same way because the body, hair, and skin are gifts from parents."

In 1984 it became legal in China to harvest organs from executed prisoners with their families' consent, a practice that was immediately condemned by international human rights and medical groups. Ethical concerns centered on the possibility of coercion or corruption in the allocation process. A black market developed...

To read more about organ procurement and transplantation in China, click here.

Islamic State reaps profits from organ trafficking

Al MonitorAl Monitor | December 5, 2014

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The success of the Islamic State (IS) in sustaining its battles on more than one front in both Syria and Iraq, while fighting in several other countries, highlights that the group has multiple and significant sources of funding.

According to data, there are two funding sources: internal and external. The latter includes a wide variety of funding schemes, including through medical facilities, oil and human trafficking mafias. According to sources in Mosul, the money supplied internally is allocated to local and foreign fighters, to encourage them to join up and continue fighting. IS took control of Mosul in June and then expanded in August to control large swaths of the country.

Residents of Mosul say that the sale of oil extracted from wells controlled by the organization in both Iraq and Syria has provided a sustained source of funding. The organization also opened trade canals through Kurdish [territories in] Iraq and Turkey, with the help of Kurdish, Turkish and Iranian traders.

In addition to oil sales, a secondary source of funding stems from the imposition of royalties on residents in IS territories. Members of the organization collect 50,000 dinars [$41.60] from each family as service and protection fees. The amount doubles for families whose sons did not join IS. One of the prominent tribal figures in Nineveh province, Sheikh Mohammad Abu Thayyab, said, “The IS gangs imposed 50,000 dinars worth of royalties on every family if one of their sons did not join these terrorists.”

Sources in the city say that oil prices have skyrocketed. The price of gas tanks used for cooking has reached 75,000 dinars, [about $62] while coal oil is sold at 5,000 dinars a liter [$4.16]. Meanwhile, the price of food has quadrupled.

The third funding source was exposed by otolaryngologist Siruwan al-Mosuli. He said that lately he noticed unusual movement within medical facilities in Mosul. Arab and foreign surgeons were hired, but prohibited from mixing with local doctors. Information then leaked about organ selling. Surgeries take place within a hospital and organs are quickly transported through networks specialized in trafficking human organs. Mosuli said that the organs come from fallen fighters who were quickly transported to the hospital, injured people who were abandoned or individuals who were kidnapped.

He said that organ sales yield large profits. A specialized mafia is engaged in these operations, in addition to medical institutions working in other countries. Without coordination among these parties, such a trade cannot be sustained, he said. According to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the organization sells bodies and organs of injured people they arrest...


Mindset an obstacle to organ transplants in China

Strait Times Dec 14The Straits Times | December 14, 2014
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By Rachel Chang

BEIJING - Madam Chen Xiu's kidneys have been failing for 12 years.

While the 52-year-old former gynaecologist's life is now dominated by thrice-weekly dialysis sessions that cost 800 yuan (S$170) each time, she refuses to have her husband or her three children - aged 14, 15 and 24 - donate their kidneys to her.

"She thinks that our health will suffer and she won't allow it," said eldest daughter Chen Lili, an administrative assistant in Shaanxi province where the family lives. "So we just keep waiting for a kidney to come from somewhere."

Such a mindset is at the root of a longstanding organ shortage in China, where about 300,000 patients are in need of organs every year, but only 10,000 transplants are carried out.

The dire state of affairs is about to get much worse. About a week ago, China announced it will stop its controversial practice of transplanting organs from executed prisoners from Jan 1 next year. This came after years of procrastination...

Read the complete article here.

Read the DICG statement commenting on news of the policy change in China here.

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