Trust shows support to organ donation

10th Mar 2015

ON Friday 20th February 2015, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust (SWBH) had a formal meeting with the Asian Rationalist Society of Britain to demonstrate the Trust’s support of the work that the charity group is doing, in terms of encouraging the local communities, especially the South Asian community, to consider organ donation.

From 2011 to 2014, the Asian Rationalist Society of Britain has encouraged more than 100 people to sign up for organ donation.

Judith Martin, Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation at SWBH commented on this achievement:

“We welcome this support and commitment to breaking down barriers to organ donation and we hope that this will encourage more people to join the Organ Donation Registration (ODR) and talk about their choice with their families to save even more lives through transplants.

“An organ from someone of the same ethnic group is more likely to be a better match. Sadly, fewer people from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups (BME) agree to organ donation which means that people from these communities often wait longer for a transplant and are more likely to die before a suitable organ can be found. We urge Asian people to find out more about organ donation, to sign the Organ Donation Register, and to tell their families about their decision to donate.

“Black and Asian people are more likely to need an organ transplant than the rest of the population as they are more susceptible to illnesses such as diabetes, kidney disease and heart disease which may result in organ failure and the need for a lifesaving transplant.

“25% of those on the waiting list are form a BME background while representing just 12% of the UK population as a whole.

Speaking about the achievement of the society, Mr Virdee, general secretary of Asian Rationalist Society for Britain, said:

“With more than a hundred Asian people signing up for organ donation, it shows that there is a change in public perception towards organ donation, especially from the Asian community’s point of view.

“The South Asian community’s need for a transplant is three times higher than general public yet, 66% of Black, Asian and other ethnic minorities in the UK refuse to give permission for their loved ones’ organs to be donated.

“The Asian community is seeing increasing demand of transplants but the contributions have not done enough.

“We aim to organise more events to encourage the public to consider organ donation. This generous gesture will offer a gift of life to others without placing any cost upon the donors.”

On average, black and Asian patients wait one year longer than the rest of the population for a kidney transplant.

Kidneys are allocated according to many factors, with blood and tissue type amongst the most important and matching is likely to be closer when the ethnicity of the donor and recipient are closer.



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