To be more specific, organ transplantation is an effective therapy for end-stageorgan failure and is widely practiced around the world.
According to WHO, kidneytransplants are carried out in 91 countries. Over 90.000 organ transplants were performed just in 2005. Even thoughthe organ demand rates are that high on a worldwide scale the access ofpatients to organ transplantation varies according to their national situationand in some extend determined by the cost of health care, the technicalcapacity that the country can offer and, most importantly, the availability fororgans.
An important source of organs is a deceased organ donation programwhich in some countries is hampered by sociocultural, legal and other factors.Even in developed countries where organ donation rates are supposed to be muchhigher compared to under developed countries they still fail to meet theincreasing demand. The use of live donors for kidney and liver transplantationsis also practiced, but the purchase and sale of organs that originate from livedonors is prohibited in several countries. Thus the shortage of an indigenous”supply” of organs has led to the development of the international organ trade,where potential recipients travel abroad to obtain organs through organcommercial transactions. Such actions have great consequences not only on theinternational Health System but also the international community as a whole.The International Health System is heavily damaged by the illegal organtrafficking since in several instances newspapers have reported the death ofpatients who went abroad for overseas commercial transplants; the abuse, fraudand coercion of paid kidney donors are also frequently reported.
These reportshave raised serious concern about the consequences of the international organtrade, both for the recipients and the donors. Thanks to the lack of controlthe International Health System has over organ trade there have been a reportfor heightened frequency of medical complications, including the transmissionof HIV and the hepatitis B and C viruses. In order to stop this threat WHOgathers information on the international organ trade and transplant tourism, andmakes an effort to synthesize this into a tentative global picture usingmultiple research methods.
This way WHO was able to at least track the globalorgan trading system.