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Iraqi families sell organs to overcome poverty

BBC newsBBC News | April 20, 2016
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By Ahemed Maher

Om Hussein is a mother close to breaking point. Along with her husband and their four young children, she is struggling with poverty like millions of other Iraqis.

Her husband, Ali, is unemployed. He is diabetic and has heart problems. She has been the breadwinner for the past nine years, eking out a living as a housemaid. But she is now exhausted, and can no longer work.

"I am tired and we cannot make any money to pay for the rent, medicine, children's needs and food," Ms Hussein said at the family's temporary one bedroom home in eastern Baghdad.

Their dilapidated house collapsed a few months ago, and they have survived thanks to the help of friends and relatives.

Her husband added: "I worked at everything you could think of. As a butcher, a day labourer, a rubbish collector. I would not ask for money, but they would give it to us. I would not ask for food.

"I would tell my son to collect waste bread from the street and we would eat it, but I never asked for food or money."

Facing such poverty, Ms Hussein was driven to make a huge sacrifice.

"I decided to sell my kidney," she said. "I could no longer provide for my family. It was better than selling my body or living on charity."...

Civil Guard detects Social Security fraud giving access to dialysis and kidney transplantation in Spain

Guardia CivilGuardia Civil | April 11, 2016

[read the original article in Spanish here/leer en Espanol]

  • The Spanish Civil Guard has detected a Social Security fraud enabling several citizens of Bulgarian to obtain access to dialysis and the waiting list for kidney transplantation.
  • In the Community of Madrid, 14 patients were detected who were fraudulently receiving dialysis or had already received a kidney transplant, resulting in a total cost of more than 1.5 million Euros.
  • The investigation has aborted an illegal medical tourism operation that, had it continued, would have harmed patients on the waiting list for transplants.

The Civil Guard, as part of operation RENIBUS, has investigated a fraud involving citizens from Eastern Europe, mainly from Bulgaria, who have defrauded Social Security by highly fictitious means, in order to obtain the healthcare card and thus gain access to dialysis treatment and the waiting list for kidney transplantation.

In the same operation seven fraudulent companies were detected giving foreign workers highly illegal permits, as well as numerous fraudulent contracts in the RETA (Special Scheme for Self-Employed).

During the investigation, the Guardia Civil has enjoyed the cooperation of the National Transplant Organization, the Ministry of Employment and Social Security, and other agencies under the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality and the Ministry of Health of the Madrid's community.

The operation began after a complaint was received from the Regional Office for the Coordination of Transplants under the Ministry of Health of the Community of Madrid, in which an unusual increase in patients from Eastern Europe on waiting lists for kidney transplants was reported.

The agents found a large number of cases in which people of other nationalities were fraudulently accessing the organ transplant list, an increase that was driven by word of mouth in Bulgaria, influenced by the excellent international reputation of the National Health System and in particular the Spanish Transplant System.

These people traveled to Spain and sought consultation in a health center, saying they were on vacation or visiting a relative, requesting hemodialysis treatment, which is offered as a medical emergency. In some cases, individuals presented to hospital on the day of their arrival in our country...

Read more via Google Translate here.

Selling kidneys to feed mouths

Ahmedabad MirrorAhmedabad Mirror | March 16, 2016

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A thick silence suffocates Pandoli village. The villagers have not got over the shock of finding that 13 men from the village had sold their kidneys illegally to fulfil their basic needs for food, medicines and security. What is worse is that there could be more victims of the kidney scam from the village. Mirror visited the village which has a population of 15,204 residents, and about 4,000 families live below poverty line. Making a mockery of the Gujarat development model, the village falls in Anand district which lies in the affluent NRG-rich belt of Charotar.

The victims are mostly debt-ridden farmers and daily wage workers who allegedly sold their kidneys to hospitals in New Delhi and Sri Lanka. The racket, which has been reportedly running for over 15 years since 2001, came to light on Monday after police receiving a tip-off that around 80 villagers had sold their kidneys...

National Kidney Foundation Urges Support for Living Donor Protection Act

NKF United States

National Kidney Foundation | February 25, 2016
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New York, NY - The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is calling on members of Congress to support the Living Donor Protection Act introduced in the House and Senate today.

The bill is designed to protect the rights of living donors and remove barriers to living organ donation. Specifically, the bill would end many forms of insurance discrimination facing living donors and extend job security through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to those who donate an organ.

“It’s unfortunate that even today we still see our nation’s living donors being denied insurance or having their premiums increased because they made a selfless decision to donate an organ to someone in need,” said Kevin Longino, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation. “This bill is an important first step to increase access to transplantation by removing the appalling barriers facing living kidney and liver donors. The National Kidney Foundation urges all members of Congress to support this bi-partisan legislation.”

In 2014, 17,108 kidney transplants were performed in the United States; however, more than 100,000 Americans are on a wait list for a kidney....

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