A kidney is sold every hour illegally: WHO

May 29, 2012, 12:33 IST | Agencies

The illegal trade in kidneys has become so rampant that more than one of the organs is traded every hour, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Every year, some 10,000 illegal kidney operations take place — about 75 per cent of the black market of all organs traded worldwide — it was reported, citing Dr. Luc Noel, a WHO official who monitors trends in human organ transplants.

The increasing number of people suffering from diseases such as heart problems, diabetes and high blood pressure is pushing the rise in the illicit trade of kidneys. “There is a growing need for transplants and big profits to be made. It’s ever growing, it’s a constant struggle. The stakes are so big, the profit that can be made so huge, that the temptation is out there,” Noel said.


According to the WHO, organ brokers prey on the poor and vulnerable, paying them about USD 5,000 (Rs 2.75 lakh) for their kidneys. The organ can later sell for several times the original sale price, with wealthy patients travelling to China, India or Pakistan for a USD 200,000 (Rs 1.1crore) transplant.

In 2010, out of 106,879 solid organs transplanted in 95 countries, about 73,179 — or 68.5 percent — were kidneys, WHO data reveal. The WHO noted that the 106,879 transplants, which included legal and illegal surgeries, only fulfilled 10 per cent of worldwide need.

The number of kidney transplants that took place in 2010

Rs 2.75 l
The cost organ brokers pay the poor for their kidneys 

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