Initiative launched to increase organ donations in black and Asian community

News Desk (06 September, 2018) Health

In Southwark 11 people have died waiting for an organ transplant since April 2013

23053King's College Hospital emergency department (Chiara Giordano)

Almost a third of black and Asian people in England are unsure about donating their organs for lifesaving transplants after their death, writes Josh Salisbury…

In a new survey conducted by NHS Blood and Transplant, 37% of respondents said they did not want to be an organ donor.

Just 11% of those surveyed said they would definitely donate, while the remainder would consider it.

In Southwark eleven people have died waiting for an organ donation since April 2013, as reported by the News.

Jackie Doyle-Price, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Mental Health and Inequalities, said: “Organ donation saves lives and is especially important from these communities where donation rates have been historically low.

“Donation is a deeply personal decision, and a gift.

“Unfortunately, myths and perceived barriers to donation remain – I am determined to tackle these misconceptions to make sure everyone understands the life-saving power of donation.”

The findings come as a new community investment scheme has been launched to tackle to problem of organ donation in black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

The £115,000 scheme allows community groups and charities to apply for funding to encourage more people from minority ethnic backgrounds to become donors.

Groups can bid for the project funding until 5pm on Monday, September 24, provided as part of a Government campaign.

The main barrier is people believing organ donation is against their religion, despite most major religions supporting blood and organ donations.

Only one in five of those surveyed were aware that organs matched by ethnicity had the best chance of success.

Even fewer, at one in ten respondents, knew that black and Asian people are more likely to need organ transplants than white people.

Bidders wanting help with their applications can attend a free workshop on Thursday 13 September from 10am-2pm in Herschel conference room at Mary Ward House, 5 – 7 Tavistock Place, London.

To reserve a place, email community.funding@nhsbt.nhs.uk.

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