6 August, 2011 As'salamualaikum Warahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu! On behalf of the international team of the Coalition for Organ-Failure Solutions (COFS), we would like to wish all Muslims a most blessed and prosperous Ramadan once again. This is the month to especially reflect upon the lives of the impoverished around the world and work towards relieving suffering through prayers and good deeds. International headlines continue to bring further attention to the global scale of the organ trade. At last there are commitments by various European bodies to investigate the operations of organ trafficking in Kosovo during the war crime operations in the break of Yugoslavia and to further investigate ongoing practices in Europe. These are strides in aims to end organ trafficking and yet there is still a great deal to be done to end the organ trade. COFS continues to be on the forefront of global work to combat organ trafficking and enhance altruistic and deceased organ donation and we kindly request your zakat/charitable donation to help support this important work. COFS is a non-profit international health and human rights organization committed to ethical solutions for organ-failure patients and ending the reliance upon the poor and vulnerable as a source of organ and tissue supplies. In alliance with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Transplantation Society (TTS), progress to combat organ trafficking has been made in recent years, particularly in the advancement of legal frameworks. Unfortunately the practice still thrives in various global hot spots and is especially rife in many Muslim countries. COFS is also still the only advocate and support for victims of the organ trade. The plight of these individuals, such as Muhammad, also continues to be tragic. At the age of 19 years, his kidney was stolen through acts of trickery and deception. A broker solicited Muhammad, a Darfurian youth seeking refuge, at the Sudan-Egypt boarder for employment. He arranged the transportation to Cairo and after his arrival, another middle-man housed and fed Muhammad for a month. Muhammad had no money and was grateful for this hospitality. After some time, Muhammad was feeling sick and was sent to a Pharmacy where he was given an injection. For the following week, Hamdi fed him very well telling him he needs to keep up his strength. Every time Muhammad ate that food, he would be knocked out for hours. After three days, he woke up in a hospital, not knowing what had happened. Hamdi was at his side consoling him, not fully explaining what really happened. They returned to his home, and after a week, Muhammad was complaining about pains in his side. Through the recommendation of a friend, he was able to see a doctor where he discovered his kidney was gone. In shock, he confronted Hamdi, who in response beat Muhammad and called the secret police (Amadowla) to arrest him. Muhammad was in jail for four years before escaping in February during the Egyptian Revolution. He met with COFS to share his story with hope to receive follow-up medical care that he otherwise would not receive. COFS has also video documented Muhammad’s story along with other Darfurian victims of organ trade and conducted ultrasounds and physical exams (as part of their follow-up care services) that confirm their nephrectomies. COFS is now committed to seeing that these stories are shared in a comprehensive report and strongly advocated to end these practices. COFS also cares for victims by providing outreach to them via the support of financial contributions. Since COFS’ birth, our accomplishments have ranged from playing an instrumental role in enhancing legal frameworks, establishing Prevention and Advocacy Programs, and establishing Grassroots Prevention and Outreach Services for victims and potential victims of the organ trade including clinical follow-up services, health education, counseling and peer support, referral to legal services and economic empowerment programs and research. A more meaningful impact is required however in order to end the exploitation of the poor as a source of organ supplies and reach out to further victims. With your support, we can enhance our work to include these possible contributions: increase our outreach services to victims of the black market organ trade to include more beneficiaries within our current and additional countries create public and target-group awareness campaigns in key countries enhance our grassroots mobilization efforts with our global partners for further actionbased research support independent parties to investigate the operations and networks of the crimes around organ trafficking to hold criminals accountable
Most pressing in these regards is our current, Erode Project, which aims to provide outreach services to at least 1300 victims of organ trafficking we have newly identified in Tamil Nadu, India. This project is an important response to the widespread organ trafficking abuses in India. It also is a response to studies that identify victims but have not included outreach to them (i.e. Goyal M., Mehta RL, Schneiderman LJ, Sehgal A. Economic and health consequences of selling a kidney in India. JAMA 2002; 288:1589–1593). In this month of Ramadan, we especially ask for your support to help make all of this possible. Donations can be made by check to the “Coalition for Organ-Failure Solutions” and sent to: 6203 Leeke Forest Ct. Bethesda, MD 20817 or can be wired into our account at: Bank of America Account number- 004465613708 Swift code: BOFAU53N (Note: the O is the letter, not zero) Or, can be made online via paypal at our website: http://www.cofs.org/donate.htm Please let us know if have concerns about these donation methods. If in the U.S., your donation is tax deductible and COFS’ EIN number is 20-4520402 We also encourage and welcome those of you who may organize an iftar in your home or local masjid dedicated to raising funds for our cause! We thank you for considering this important charitable cause. May you and your family have a most blessed Ramadan! Sincerely, Kabir A. Karim, MPH
Assistant Director Coalition for Organ-Failure Solutions (COFS) firstname.lastname@example.org T: +2-010-964-1086 Debra A. Budiani-Saberi, Ph.D.
Executive Director Coalition for Organ-Failure Solutions (COFS) Washington D.C. (Kensington, MD), USA email@example.com T: +1-330-701-8399 in the U.S. T: +2-012-676-0077 in Egypt F: +1-720-293-0117
Towards a World of Ethical Solutions for Organ and Tissue Supplies Washington D.C., US: 10410 Kensington Parkway, Suite 210, Kensington, MD 20895 T: +1-202-558-2307 F: +1-720-293-0117 Cairo, Egypt: 5 Sakr Kouraish St. Flat no. 1, 7th zone, PO Box 1471, Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt Chennai, India: No. 396, Old No. 767, Poonamallee High Road, Kilpauk, Chennai 600010, India www.cofs.org