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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...

Emiratis travelling abroad for illegal kidney transplants

UAEThe National | November 2, 2014
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ABU DHABI.  Emiratis are travelling abroad for illegal kidney transplants, putting their lives and others’ at risk.

Dr Ammar Abdulbaki, lead transplant physician at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) in Abu Dhabi, said it was common belief among the public “that it’s OK to take an organ from other people, but not from my family”.

He insisted, however, that kidney donation was a safe procedure with no significant risk when a healthy donor was involved and the operation was conducted in sterile conditions.

Most patients who travel from the UAE go to Egypt or China. Some claim the trips are funded by private organisations or other benefactors. All say they would pay for a kidney and risk the lives of strangers rather than that of their own families since they have the option.

The selling of organs is illegal worldwide. UAE law requires that organ donors must be relatives of the patient...

Click here to read an editorial in The National on this article, 'An alternative to the risks of transplant tourism'


Worries over illegal organ market

Bangkok Post OctBangkok Post | October 27, 2014

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PHNOM PENH - The seven-inch scar runs diagonally across the left flank of his skinny torso, a glaring reminder of an operation he hoped would save his family from debt but instead plunged him into shame.

Chhay, 18, sold his kidney for $3,000 in an illicit deal that saw him whisked from a rickety one-room house on the outskirts of the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh to a gleaming hospital in the medical tourism hub of neighbouring Thailand.

His shadowy journey, which went unnoticed by authorities two years ago, has instigated Cambodia's first-ever cases of organ trafficking and the arrests of two alleged brokers.

It has also raised fears that other victims hide beneath the radar...

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