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How organ harvesters deceived villagers to sell their kidneys

In Hoske, a remote village in Nepal, some residents have been tempted into selling their kidneys under the false belief that the organs would grow back.


The village is notorious as being the “Kidney Valley” or the “village with a single kidney” in the world because someone from almost every household has sold a kidney.


Kidney trafficking involves the illicit trade of humans and/or their organs. Brokers would often visit villages such as Hokse, and recruit individuals through deception and are uninformed about the reality of the procedure and the impact of kidney removal.


In Hokse, locals feel duped and exploited with some claiming they were tricked into selling their kidney with the promise that it would regrow. They also claimed some died due to the process.


Narrating their ordeal with SkyNews, Kanchha and Ram, in their 40s lifted their shirts to show their scar, recounted how financial depseration pushed them into selling one of their kidneys. Kanchha revealed he’s still in pain and unable to work because of the side effects from the surgery.


“It’s impossible to count how many have done it. Everywhere, this village, that village, so many people have sold their kidneys.”


The situation in Hokse has become critical, with a growing number of young migrant men returning to the village with kidney failure, urgently requiring kidney transplants.


Some scientists attribute this phenomenon to the harsh working conditions abroad due to exposure to extreme heat and severe dehydration.


31-year-old Suman revealed he had no option than travelling to India to sell his kidney for £3,000 after being financially and emotionally broken pushed him to almost ending his life.


“I felt weak and I lost consciousness. When I woke up, it was really hurting. Now I can’t work and I try to tell anyone I can, not to sell their kidney.”


Kachan who also sold his kidney in India revealed that he did that with a ‘fake sister.’ Indian laws states that “donors must be related and they must present the relevant paperwork.” He also alleged that the doctors are also a part of the trafficking ring.


“The agents made fake documents in Kathmandu, including Indian ID cards. My kidney was given to a fake sister. I think the doctor in India knew I’d sold it.”


A pioneering and renowned surgeon at the Human Organ Transplant Center in Nepal, Dr Pukar Shresth, stated that young men who leave the country to work extreme heat consitions, with little water, often return to the country with, “completely failed kidneys”.


“It is very grave because about one third of all transplants are these labour migrant workers who have come from abroad,” he says.


“This has caused a huge burden to our health resources health facility because they account for more than 30% of the total transplant number in our country.”


While locals in Nepal claim that the sales have stopped, some residents are still taking desperate risks in the hope of improving their lives.

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