There was a facebook post by a user named ጋጋ ቆሌ ኢጋ who has over 2,900 friends claiming that many children are being kidnapped by old women also stating that kidney theft has started to become a serious issue in Adama. The post was shared by over 25,000 users. HaqCheck has interrogated the post and concluded that it is false due to the inaccuracy of the claim and the picture used on the post.

Organ transplant is a surgical procedure that removes organs or tissues for reuse, typically for patient with an end stage disease (organ failure), in most cases it is required that the donor is legally dead (cardiac or brain) to consider the organ transplant but for some organs, like kidney and liver, a living donor can be the source of organ. A kidney can last 36 – 48 hours after being detached from the donor’s body. Demand for organs has outstripped supply, causing Organ tradethe trading of human organs usually for transplantation. The commercial trade of organs is illegal in all countries except Iran – , Organ theft the forcible removal of a person’s organs to be used in transplant surgeries and sold on the black market – and Forced organ harvesting harvesting organ without free, voluntary consent from people incarcerated in their prison system is also a serious offense in many jurisdiction. China is well known for forced organ harvesting from executed prisoners. There are many cases where organ theft happens in the world.

The first successful Kidney transplant in Ethiopia took place on 22 September 2015 at St. Paul’s hospital millennium medical college in collaboration with University of Michigan. Since then kidney transplant has been done on only 102 patients until 2 May 2019. This is due to the shortage of well trained and specialized surgeons as well as lack of resources and equipment necessary for the procedure in Ethiopia.  

However, a reverse image search of the picture posted shows that the picture was first used on 24 August 2017 (approximately seventeen months before the post was shared). It was taken at a protest in Italy after Immigrants who seek asylum were evicted from Piazza Indipendenza, Rome.

Granted, there are many organ theft cases seen in the world. However, HaqCheck has interrogated the post and concluded that the picture was not taken in Adama and it doesn’t support the claim that children are being kidnapped for kidney theft or doesn’t show any evidence about the incident. Based on this, HaqCheck has rated the post FALSE due to the inaccuracy to the claim.

Fact Checked by: Rehobot Ayalew

Edited by: Bruck Negash Teame


The following article is part of HaqCheck, Addis Zeybe’s multilingual fact checking running in five languages (Affan Oromo, Amharic, Somali, Tigrinya and English)

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