HEALTH

Andean culture resists organ transplant program in Bolivia
Deep-rooted cultural resistance in the largely indigenous Bolivia is adding stumbling blocks for a program that offers organ transplants at no charge for the poor.
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In this Dec. 1, 2014 photo, a doctor gives the "okay" to enter the operating room during a kidney transplant for Maria Ramos at the private clinic in La Paz, Bolivia. Ramos, 27, finally got the kidney she needed thanks to an ambitious new Bolivian government program that makes organ transplants available at no charge to the poor. Yet the program must overcome multiple hurdles, beginning with deep-rooted cultural resistance in this largely indigenous nation. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

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In this Nov. 8, 2014 photo, Maria Ramos, center, receives dialysis treatment as she waits for a kidney transplant at an Hospital in La Paz, Bolivia. In December, Ramos, 27, finally got the kidney she needed thanks to an ambitious new Bolivian government program that makes organ transplants available at no charge to the poor. In Bolivia alone, chronic renal failure is up 60 percent in the past nine years, due largely to changes in lifestyle and diet, according to the Health Ministry. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

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In this Dec. 1, 2014 photo, Carmen de Ramos waits to enter the operating room to donate a kidney to her daughter at a private clinic in La Paz, Bolivia. For seven years, Carmen's daughter Maria, constantly battled bouts of depression as she underwent thrice-weekly dialysis treatments to keep her alive. She finally got the kidney she needed thanks to an ambitious new Bolivian government program that makes organ transplants available at no charge to the poor. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

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In this Dec. 1, 2014 photo, doctors and assistants work on a kidney transplant for Maria Ramos, who received a donated kidney from her mother, at a private clinic in La Paz, Bolivia. Ramos, 27, finally got the kidney she needed thanks to an ambitious new Bolivian government program that makes organ transplants available at no charge to the poor. Yet the program must overcome multiple hurdles, beginning with deep-rooted cultural resistance in this largely indigenous nation. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

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In this Nov. 6, 2014 photo, Carmen Ramos, right, and her daughter Maria wait for a checkup at a private clinic in La Paz Bolivia. Maria finally got the kidney she needed from her mother, thanks to an ambitious new Bolivian government program that makes organ transplants available at no charge to the poor. The program has boosted transplants threefold from 2009 and access to dialysis machines in public hospitals has quintupled since President Evo Morales took office a decade ago. Before its launch, most poor Bolivians with failing vital organs typically faced death. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

Andean culture resists organ transplant program in Bolivia

Deep-rooted cultural resistance in the largely indigenous Bolivia is adding stumbling blocks for a program that offers organ transplants at no charge for the poor.

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