World Health Organisation has noted that the organ transplant tourism is on the rise in the wake of persistent supply shortage and has urged that the situation needs to be reversed forthwith.

The current trend is that rich Western patients seek organs from poorer nations. Demand for human organ transplants far exceeds supply and the poor people from developing countries have been taken advantage of.

For the time being, kidneys are the most sought-after organ with the 66,000 transplanted in 2005. This number only covered 10% of the estimated need. The demand for kidneys and livers are on the rise and it remains unmatched.

It is this situation that encouraged the poor people to sell their organs and the wealthy men to be buying from them. The biggest problem is that these people are being used and not receiving the money promised as half of their money usually goes to middlemen.

It was the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu that was rocked by a huge scandal involving the selling of kidneys by a number of poverty-stricken tsunami survivors. The similar situation is in Pakistan where 40% to 50% of the people from some villages have only one kidney as they had sold the other ones. Besides being taken advantage of, people who sold their kidneys have been experiencing different health problems after the removal of their kidneys.

It is a serious situation that is putting in risk a lot of poor people from developing countries and those loopholes in the laws governing organ transplant that the middlemen have been using need to be fixed.

However, there is also an increased consciousness within developing nations about making more use of the organs of their own deceased people instead of letting their citizens buy them from developing countries.