The Third World Still Supplying Raw Materials
Developing nations offer a wealth of spare parts for the wealthier nations of the world.
Once more, capitalism equals cannibalism
Demand for human organ transplants far exceeds supply, fueling the growing trend of "transplant tourism" from wealthy countries to developing nations where organs can be bought, the World Health Organization said on Friday.
The kidney is the most sought-after organ with the 66,000 transplanted in 2005 only covering 10 percent of the estimated need, said WHO. In the same year 21,000 livers and 6000 hearts were transplanted.
"Both kidney and liver transplants are on the rise, but demand is also increasing and remains unmatched," said the agency, which held a meeting of experts from around the world this week to combat the trend.
WHO encourages countries to make use more of the organs of their own deceased people rather than let citizens buy them from developing countries.
Because a person can live with only one kidney, people in poor countries may be lured into selling one of them to a person in need.
In Pakistan 40 percent to 50 percent of the residents of some villages have only one kidney because they have sold the other for a transplant into a wealthy person, probably from another country, said Dr Farhat Moazam of Pakistan, one of the participants in the meeting.
Moazam said Pakistani donors are offered $US2,500 ($A3093)for a kidney, but in the end they receive only about half of that because middlemen take the rest.
In Western countries package deals are advertised on the Internet for as low as $US12,000 or $US20,000 to receive a kidney and seven days of hospitalization in a transplant country, Moazam said.