MSUToday
Published: Dec. 19, 2018

Anthropology faculty selected for World Health Organization Task Force

Contact(s): Rebecca Jensen Social Science office: (517) 884-0297 jensenr7@msu.edu, Monir Moniruzzaman Anthropology office: (517) 355-0189 monir@msu.edu

Monir Moniruzzaman, assistant professor of Anthropology in Michigan State University’s College of Social Science, was selected to join the World Health Organization’s Task Force on Donation and Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues.

Moniruzzaman was chosen by the World Health Organization, or WHO, because of his longstanding, renowned and challenging research on organ trafficking in Bangladesh. He has published research extensively on the topic, as well as presented to the Vatican, the U.S. Congress Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

As Moniruzzaman explained, the early 1990s witnessed an acute shortage of human cells, tissues and organs. This resulted in a wave of people traveling to other countries to participate in illegal activities of buying these human parts from the poor.

“As a member of the Task Force, my role will be to advise and assist the WHO and its Member States in developing sustainable transplant system and achieving national self-sufficiency in order to combat organ trafficking and transplant tourism worldwide,” Moniruzzaman said.

Moniruzzaman’s specific task force includes 31 members from various countries. The task force includes experts spanning across broad fields of expertise, including medicine, surgery, ethics, law, patients’ rights, public administration and health systems.

The Task Force on Donation and Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues was created in response to a vote from Member States to establish a group that could advise the WHO on its mission, and to assist members as they establish or strengthen their systems to prevent such trafficking.

The WHO is an international partnership intended to promote, direct and coordinate international health work through collaboration, working with various groups, countries, United Nations system academia and research institutions to accomplish these goals.

MSU researcher Monir Moniruzzaman visits a slum of Dhaka, Bangladesh.