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Thai woman wants to sell her kidney to help with financial problems during Covid-19

Tanutam Thawan




A 64 year old Thai woman says she wants to sell her kidney to help her family with their financial problems brought on by the Covid-19. The woman from the central province Nakhon Pathom, just west of Bangkok, says that due to the disease control restrictions during the outbreak, she was forced to close her Chinese restaurant.

Since then, she’s struggled to make ends meet and help support her household which includes her daughter, 2 sons, daughter-in-law and 2 grandchildren. She says she couldn’t benefit from the Thai government’s Covid-19 relief programme because no one in her family knew how to use a smartphone to apply. On top of that, her daughter’s pay at the meatball factory was cut down to 200 baht a day. Neighbours have helped out by donating food, but it hasn’t been enough. Now, the woman has come forward to the media saying she wants to sell her kidney.

“I do not know whether it is against the law or not, but I want to sell it.”

Selling an organ is illegal… but it’s not that uncommon in Southeast Asia. According to a report from Channel News Asia, there have been several advertisements for healthy kidneys on social media in the Philippines and a number of Facebook groups where people offer to sell their kidneys. Some people offer to pay around USD$2,000 to USD$3,000 for a healthy kidney.

Typing something along the lines of ‘kidney donation Philippines’ or ‘kidney for sale’ in the Facebook search bar will reveal countless posts by organ brokers, kidney patients and hopeful sellers who want to leverage social media’s reach to complete a deal.

A Philippine Department of Justice official told CNA that the “kidney is the most commonly trafficked organ due to its high demand in the black market and the fact that a donor can survive with only one kidney.”

In Cambodia, an 18 year old said he sold his kidney for USD$3,000, according to a report from AFP back in 2014. A neighbour had approached him about selling a kidney and he told AFP “She said you are poor, you don’t have money… if you sell your kidney you will be able to pay off your debts.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand


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  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Friday, June 11, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    Ah tragic.
    See this Prayut?
    See what your wonderful administration has done? Citizen have to sell their kidney to survive.
    And you make it so hard for the citizens to collect their rightful money, some cannot apply.
    I have a novel idea.
    Open an office.
    Let the applicants arrive with I.D. Fill in a form, and receive their money on the spot, or does that conflict with the Thai officials love of B.S, and creating hoops for everyone to jump through? You petty, arrogant, stupid, peasants.

  2. Avatar


    Friday, June 11, 2021 at 4:35 pm

    Yes, it’s amazing how the Thais use paperwork and documentation and offices filled with people walking around when it suits. Soon as it comes to delivering financial support to it people, they suddenly want to become all high-tech, knowing fine well your average Issan Farmer walking his cows along the Mittraphap road doesn’t know how to use one.

  3. Avatar


    Friday, June 11, 2021 at 4:46 pm

    Better sell your kidneys now before they’re widely available through 3d printing methods

  4. Avatar


    Friday, June 11, 2021 at 5:07 pm

    Breaks your heart. These are the types of people the government needs to help the most and yet can’t seem to reach.

  5. Avatar


    Friday, June 11, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    Go to Iran, it is legal to sell kidney there.

  6. Avatar


    Friday, June 11, 2021 at 5:38 pm

    The virus has an IFR of what, 0.15%? For this, we devastated the economy. This is just one of millions of victims of government insanity.

  7. Avatar


    Friday, June 11, 2021 at 7:05 pm

    2 – 3,000 yankee dollars, where do I sign up!

  8. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Friday, June 11, 2021 at 8:33 pm

    “She says she couldn’t benefit from the Thai government’s Covid-19 relief programme because no one in her family knew how to use a smartphone to apply.”

    Simply not credible.

    While it’s perfectly possible that “no one in her family knew how to use a smartphone to apply” they didn’t need to as they could have just gone to a local branch of the BAAC, as many did.

    “Open an office.
    Let the applicants arrive with I.D” etc

    They did, @Toby – any branch of the BAAC.

    The support is minimal and inexcusable, and the initial programme was appallingly badly “first-come = first-served”, over-subscribed in five minutes, but this criticism is just unfounded nonsense.

  9. Avatar

    Ricky Cleats

    Friday, June 11, 2021 at 10:20 pm

    A person should get more like $20,000 US 6000,000 baht if such a transaction were legal.

  10. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Friday, June 11, 2021 at 11:44 pm

    “… the real tragedy is these peasants believe that Chan o cha and he who cannot be named are honorable people ‘for the people”!”etc

    Have you ever actually met and spoken to any of “these peasants”, @Rose J?

    … ever taken the time to look at Thai politics and who “these peasants” support and have voted for over the last decade or two?

    Purely rhetorical, as obviously you don’t have the faintest idea about what “these peasants believe”.

  11. Avatar


    Saturday, June 12, 2021 at 12:07 am

    What’s your point here @Simon Small? It’s unclear what you are saying. Your comments seem to suggest you are supporting the currently political arrangements ?

  12. Avatar


    Saturday, June 12, 2021 at 1:29 am

    When will people understand! Everyone has to die from poverty so that people in their 80s and 90s can live an extra few weeks…Who believes in that kind of incompetence? When will people disavow the accidental view of history. Covid is their excuse for the role out of a planned agenda. Get ready for the cashless online surveillance society with rolling climate lockdowns and endless virus hoaxes.

  13. Avatar

    James Pate

    Saturday, June 12, 2021 at 5:54 am

    Who would want a 64 year-old kidney that has been working hard to filter god only knows what all these years? My 64 year-old mother-in-law has never used an ATM, is scared of escalators, and wouldn’t have a clue how to one of those seamless gov’t apps that we all love so much, e.g. 90-day reports. However, the old girl somehow manages to get on a bus, despite her bad leg, and get wherever she needs to go to get benefits she may receive the old school way. I think this story is a ploy for media attention and donations.

  14. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Saturday, June 12, 2021 at 6:30 am

    “What’s your point here @Simon Small?”

    That the claim you and @Toby are supporting is “not credible”, @Nigel. That the two of you are mis-informed.

    “It’s unclear what you are saying”

    “Not credible” seems pretty clear to me, given what I thought was an explanation a mentally challenged three year old could understand and anyone with access to a search engine (or able to read past reports in the Thaiger) can verify.

    “Your comments seem to suggest you are supporting the currently political arrangements ?”

    Only if you’re a complete moron who thinks that “minimal … inexcusable … appallingly bad” etc is somehow “support”.

  15. Avatar

    J West

    Saturday, June 12, 2021 at 9:00 am

    An IPhone costs the same as a kidney. That’s multilateralism for you. I see a whole new industry opening in trade for the Bangkokian HISO Ghouls. Walk in with a kidney and out with a refurbished Chinese IPhone knock off so that next time there’s a Hi-Tech mobilization you Low-Tech Issan buffalo can call in and register your daughter .

  16. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Saturday, June 12, 2021 at 12:00 pm

    @Simon Small – Well I have just googled: how a Thai gets a vaccine at the BAAC.
    There is nothing there indicating that a Thai can have a vaccine at the BAAC, or even an appointment to have a vaccine.
    So enlighten the Thais with your great wisdom and explain how a Thai: only has to go to the nearest branch of the BAAC to obtain a vaccination.

  17. Avatar


    Saturday, June 12, 2021 at 10:08 pm

    @Somon Small. I think you need less words and more meaning in the deluge of crap you throw out sometimes. My sense is you are someone with many years of experience in Thailand who’s comments could be put to better use than directing the words of others and droning on endlessly by extracting parts of a post. Just spit it out man!

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Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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