By Jake Stern
Over the past two weeks in Nepal, fifteen organ traffickers have been arrested and charged with illegal kidney trafficking. The growing demand and dwindling supply of kidneys has forced many poor individuals in the country to rely on the illegal organ trade. Involvement in trafficking organs is punishable by up to 10 years in jail and a fine of 7,000 dollars. The trade is so popular in the eastern rim of the Kathmandu Valley that the area has been coined the “kidney bank,” and it is estimated that 300 hundred individuals have sold their kidneys here. The Nepalese government has sought to combat the illegal trade by spending roughly 5,600 dollars per a person with kidney failure, and creating the Human Organ Transplant Centre, which opened over a year ago to address the squalid conditions of kidney disease treatment. However, many are not satisfied. Monday, hundreds took to the streets demanding free dialysis and medicinal treatment for kidney patients. The National Kindey Patient’s association, which coordinated the protest, warned of a hunger strike if their demands were not met.
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