Sputum markets in everything

by on September 18, 2009 at 8:51 am in Medicine | Permalink

South African saliva:

South Africans in an impoverished township are profiting from an illegal trade in a precious new currency †‘ saliva.

Tuberculosis
sufferers in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, were found to be selling samples
of their sputum to healthy people to pass off as their own in a scam to
gain medical grants.

An investigation by the West Cape News
identified people with TB charging R50-100 (£4.10-£8.20) for saliva
samples contained in bottles stolen from health clinics.

The
paper said that buyers of the samples were then able to get a card from
a clinic indicating they have TB and use this to fraudulently obtain a
temporary disability grant of R1,010 per month from the department of
social development.

It seems to be a competitive market:

A 54-year-old man told a reporter that he makes an average of R500 per
month from selling his saliva to people seeking to trick their way on
to the benefits system. But he said business was "not good" because so
many people were infected with TB in the township that he had a lot of
competition.

I thank Jonathan Thomas for the pointer.

anon September 18, 2009 at 10:09 am

Add saliva to the list of bodily fluids that are sold: semen, blood, plasma, urine.

Mucus, i.e., snot? That is a “slippery secretion” or “viscous colloid” according to wikipedia.

Feces? Not a fluid, most of the time, but some artists do use it in works for sale.

Ear wax in some people is soft, but not a fluid.

Are there any others?

Curt Fischer September 18, 2009 at 11:52 am

C – So which factor do you think is responsible for the non-pareto outcomes here? Human salivary glands, or the government social program?

Bill September 18, 2009 at 4:09 pm

The way to prevent this fraud is to have the person who brings the contaminated tuberculous containing sputum that is not their own SWALLOW IT. No problem for the tuberculous patient; problem for the fraudster.

antennenkabel September 19, 2009 at 3:05 am

Julius Malema should sit down with these TB sufferers and explain to them why it is so vital that ministers need to spend millions of Rand on luxury cars. The terrible, tragic, terrifying truth of the electorate is that they would probably agree with him.

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