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Iran restricts organ transplants

Iran Al MonitorAl-Monitor | October 10, 2014
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By Mehrnaz Samimi

Over 25,000 Iranian patients are on the waiting list for receiving an organ, according to the latest statistics that Iran’s Ministry of Health has announced. Official statistics show that every day, seven to 10 patients on this list die in dire need of an organ transplant.

The administration has increased its efforts to inform and educate people to willingly become donors, which is why the donor card system was created. A section that has also been added to driver’s licenses in Iran that indicates the license holder’s decision to donate his/her organs.

“Starting on Sept. 21, 2014, no more organ transplant operations will be performed on non-Iranians,” Iranian officials announced in September.

The major reason this decision was made, according to the Ministry of Health, was that the number of foreign citizens who have undergone organ transplant surgery in Iran — 608 legally documented over the past 10 years — was already high, considering the number of Iranian patients in critical condition...

Two organ traffickers arrested from airport

Pakistan The NewsThe News| November 22, 2014
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By Salis bin Perwaiz

Karachi  - Two people allegedly involved in illegal organ trafficking were apprehended at the Karachi airport by the personnel of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) when they tried to board a flight to Mauritius on Friday morning.

The suspects include a carrier and his subject who had agreed to sell his kidney for Rs500,000, said FIA Sindh Director Shahid Hayat.

He said the FIA’s immigration staff at the Jinnah International Airport Karachi had been instructed to keep a check on the documents of passengers travelling abroad to be able to catch suspects wanted by the agency’s Anti-Human Trafficking Circle.

The immigration staff grew suspicious about two passengers whose documents had been arranged by an agent. Both held Pakistani passports bearing a visit visa for Mauritius and a medical visa for India.

The immigration officials asked Sarfaraz Bhatti and Rizwan Ahmed about why they were travelling to Mauritius but they failed to give a satisfactory reply. When probed further, Bhatti disclosed that Ahmed was taking him to Mauritius, via Dubai, and then to India for kidney transplantation of an Indian lady who lived in Mauritius...


International Health Woes in Nepal Village Known for Organ Sales

Nepal AAPABC News | Nov 14, 2014
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HOKSHE, Nepal - Under crushing financial strain, Kumar Budathoki sold one of his kidneys to organ traffickers for $5,000, a sum he hoped would help set him up for a lifetime free of money problems.

Instead, he got a lifetime of health problems — and only a fraction of the money promised to him by a shady broker in Hokshe, a village of tiny farms and mud huts that has been the center of the illegal organ trade in Nepal for more than a decade.

Only about 4,000 people live here, yet at least 121 of them have sold their kidneys, said Krishna Pyari Nakarmi, who has been leading the campaign against the kidney trade in Hokshe. Those are only the cases she has been able to document, and she believes the number could be much higher. The scars are easily hidden under a shirt, and many villagers have moved away — possibly after going through the surgery.

Despite a recent clampdown on the trade, authorities warn that the promise of easy money could easily erase any gains made against the organ traffickers. And villagers who already sold their kidneys continue to suffer the health consequences...

Doctors cleared in organ harvesting scam

Bangkok Post OctBangkok Post | November 10, 2014

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By Paritta Wangkiat

The Thai medical regulator has found no involvement by Thai doctors in any cross-border organ trafficking. That's despite recent reports about organ-donor rackets in Cambodia in which Thai hospitals carried out the transplants.

Cross-border organ trafficking came to light in July when the Cambodia Daily reported that Yem Azisah, a 29-year-old Cambodian woman, was arrested along with her stepfather, Nhem Phalla, 40, who is accused of helping her acquire fake identities for kidney donors.

The Cambodian donors need the papers to prove they are relatives of would-be recipients. This step is required by Thai doctors before transplant surgery can take place.

One of the donors, who is poor and desperately needed money, was persuaded to sell his kidney for about 325,000 baht and was taken to a Bangkok-based private hospital to have his kidney removed, the report said.

The two have been charged with human trafficking and fraud. Last month, the AFP news agency quoted Phnom Penh's deputy police chief Prum Sonthor as saying at least two other Cambodian donors were taken to Thailand for transplant surgery. The report raised fears about a rise in trafficking as part of Thailand's booming medical tourism industry...

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