Black people living in the UK are three times more likely to need an organ transplant than the general population. This is because these communities are more susceptible to illnesses such as diabetes, kidney disease and heart disease which may result in organ failure.
Donated organs need to be carefully matched to the recipient to ensure blood and tissue groups are compatible. An organ is more likely to be a close match, and as a result a transplant is much more likely to be successful, if the donor and recipient have the same ethnic origin.
Unfortunately, while there is an urgent need for donor organs from the Black community, less than one percent of those on the NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR) are Black. This drastically reduces the chances of finding a successful match. It also means Black people have to wait longer than a white person for a kidney transplant.
If more people registered, more lives could be saved.
If you believe in organ donation, prove it. Register now.
Following on from the launch of the new religious perspectives leaflets last year which was supported by leaders of all the major faiths in the UK and set out their standpoint on organ donation, we are continuing to work closely with faith leaders to help them share messages with their congregations about the need to address the shortage of organ donors in their communities.
We have been holding faith sessions in London and Greater London to provide a platform for discussion around organ donation and religion. A special summit is being held to conclude these sessions. This event will bring together faith leaders, community representatives and health professionals to develop an action plan that will raise the rate of consent for organ donation within BME communities and help make organ donation part of everyone´s culture and tradition in the longer term.
The Faith and Organ Donation Summit will be facilitated by Professor Gurch Randhawa, Professor of Diversity in Public Health at Bedfordshire University.
We have a range of leaflets and posters available for you to order free of charge to help you run your own campaign. All the material has been specially designed to get across the message that more Black and Asian donors are needed. You can order them here, or download the material.
All the major religions in the UK support the principles of organ donation
and transplantation. However, within each religion there are different schools
of thought which means that views may differ. All the major religions accept
that organ donation is an individual choice. Read more about
religious perspectives on organ donation.