One kidney village: Afghans so desperate, they've taken to selling their organs for cash

In a settlement near the town of Herat in northwestern Afghanistan, so many residents have sold their kidneys that it has become known as “One kidney village.” This poverty has pushed some to sell organs to buy food, pay debts and, in one case, to prevent the sale of a child.


On top of selling organs, in recent months, reports have surfaced of parents offering daughters into marriage or to childless couples for money because they can no longer afford to feed the girls.


The brokers, as in all sectors of an economy, are the go-betweens, finding buyers for goods someone wants to sell. These ones match up someone with a health need and the money for an organ and someone in desperate need of cash.


As for the hospitals that perform the surgeries, there exists little regulation on organ trafficking. One doctor says he don’t ask questions about where the organ comes from or who he is transplanting it into: “We have never investigated it because it’s not our job.”



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