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News Article

CENATRA Introduces Campaign to Prevent Organ Trafficking

By Sofía Garduño | Thu, 07/14/2022 - 17:16

The Prevention Campaign against Trafficking of Organs, Tissues and Transplant Tourism, which will increase awareness and prevent these types of crimes, will start on July 29, 2022, announced José Aburto, General Director, CENATRA.  


“In Mexico, organ donation must always be within the regulations and follow the principles of confidentiality, non-profit, altruism, gratuity and feasibility and policies of transparency, equity and efficiency,” said Erika Jiménez, Deputy Director of Rules and Legal Affairs, CENATRA.


Mexico’s General Law of Health prohibits the commercialization of organ tissues and cells and acknowledges the right of individuals to donate part or the entirety of their bodies. CENATRA, in collaboration with other institutions such as COFEPRIS, ensures that donation and transplantation procedures align with regulations and sanitary control. Hospitals need a sanitary license issued by COFEPRIS to carry out procurement and transplantation of organs and tissues.  “Licensed establishments that do not comply with the regulations will be subjected to a verification visit and corresponding sanctions,” said Aburto.


Transplants doubled in 2021 compared to 2020, with 952 more corneal transplants and 1,058 more kidney transplants, according to the Ministry of Health (SSA). While in 2020 there were only 72 liver transplants, in 2021 there were 135, reported CENATRA. In 2022, activities related to organ donation and transplantation have increased by 55 percent compared to the last two years, said Aburto.


The increase in organ donation can bring hope to many because every donor can save eight lives and enhance 75 more, according to the US Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA). Every day 20 people die waiting for a transplant in Mexico and every 10 minutes another patient is added to the waiting list for an organ or tissue, as reported by Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).


Some countries have long waiting lists for transplants so criminal groups have seen an opportunity to profit from organs. Trafficking for the removal of organs is more lucrative in countries with an aging population and an increased incidence of diabetes due to the higher requirement for organ transplants, according to INTERPOL. It is estimated that US$1.5 billion are generated annually from approximately 12,000 illegal transplants. Organs are a profitable commodity in the black market. A kidney buyer, for example, can pay between US$50,000 and US$120,000. Traffickers and intermediates keep most of the payment, while vendors receive less than 10 percent of it.



The data used in this article was sourced from:  
SSA, CENATRA, Mexico's General Law of Health, HRSA, UNAM, INTERPOL, NCBI
Photo by:   pixabay , 12019
Sofía Garduño Sofía Garduño Journalist & Industry Analyst