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China vows to crack down on organ trafficking

Updated: Feb 8,2017 6:50 PM     Xinhua

VATICAN — A senior Chinese representative on Feb 7 presented related data on China’s organ donations and transplantations at a world conference here, highlighting the country’s commitment to combating organ trafficking and transplant tourism.

During the first day of the two-day Pontifical Academy Summit (PAS), which was being held by Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Jiefu Huang, professor and chairman of the China National Organ Donation and Transplantation Committee, presented the data on China’s new program for prohibiting the use of organs from executed prisoners.

Huang said the total number of deceased donor liver and kidney transplant between 2010 and 2016 were 27,600 and China’s Ministry of Health has submitted the detailed statistics to the Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO) for public release.

From the beginning of 2015, China imposed a total ban on the use of executed prisoners’ organs for transplantation, Huang said, describing the process as “an arduous journey.”

“Rome is not built in one day, the same as for the forbidden city”, he added.

According to Huang, hundreds of foreigners used to come to China every year for transplant tourism before the Chinese government banned the practice in 2009.

From 2007 to 2016, the Chinese authorities formed joint task forces and cracked down on 32 illegal intermediaries, investigated 18 medical institutions, prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned 174 people including 50 medical personnel, and eradicated 14 black market dens, Huang said, referring to the “Zero Tolerance” action to behaviors violating organ transplantation regulations and laws.

On behalf of China at the summit, Huang also proposed to establish a WHO task force to fulfill the mission of the PAS in order to eradicate organ trafficking.

“We believe the key for resolving this issue is legislation and law enforcement. The summit will be the important reference for China’s legislation and law enforcement,” the Chinese expert said. “Please be assured of China’s clear position on prohibiting organ trafficking and transplant tourism to fulfill the goal of the summit for the humanity of the entire world.”

At the summit, more than 70 scientists, experts and officials from different countries and international organizations attended the discussion on organ trafficking and transplant tourism, in a bid to set up further guidelines and ethical rules in curbing illegal activities worldwide.