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Nigeria’s Demand for Organs Fuels Black Market

With unsafe skin bleaching and high rates of diabetes, hypertension and renal failure contributing to kidney disease among some 20 million Nigerians — one per cent of whom need urgent transplants — the country’s black market for kidneys, in particular, sells the organ at $10, 000. Human beings only need one of their two to survive, making the bean-shaped body parts the most trafficked organs in the world. Nigeria has made unwanted international headlines as former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu and his wife stand trial in London for alleged trafficking and illegal organ harvesting. The couple is accused of flying a teenage boy from Nigeria to donate a kidney to their daughter. Similar tales of desperation are common across the country. The World Health Organization says one-tenth of all global organ transplants are performed using illegally acquired organs.