Vietnam hospitals asked to keep placentas off the black market

TN News

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Ho Chi Minh City's Health Department has ordered obstetrics hospitals and those receiving pregnant women to prevent placentas from reaching the black market, Tuoi Tre said in a Tuesday report.

The order was made following the Health Ministry's instructions about better controlling placentas as a medical waste, after some Chinese pharmaceutical figures admitted to illegally producing tablets from them. South Korean investigators last month accused the tablets of containing dead fetuses.

Placentas are used publicly at many saloons in Vietnam as one of the ingredients in facial masks.

A report by news website VietNamNet in March also revealed a robust placenta trade with the product available at many Chinese medicine shops in HCMC as a tonic at up to VND250,000 (US$12) apiece.

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The report said people gained easy access to placentas after building a connection with nurses or cleaners at related hospitals.

But doctors said such practices involve a high risk of contracting HIV and Hepatitis B.

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