66% of Black, Asian and some Ethnic Minority (BAME) communities living in the UK refuse to give permission for their loved ones organs to be donated compared to 43% of the rest of the population.
Patients from BAME communities are more likely to need an organ transplant than the rest of the UK as they are more susceptible to illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes and certain forms of hepatitis, all of which may result in organ failure and the need for a lifesaving transplant.
Blood and tissue type are among the most important factors when organs, such as kidneys, are allocated to patients and organ matching is likely to be closer when the ethnicity of the donor and recipient are the same.
As a result on average, BAME communities will wait a year longer for a kidney transplant than a White patient. Many may die while waiting for an organ to become available.
Research shows that religion is often a barrier to people agreeing to organ donation because they feel their faith doesn't allow it, particularly amongst black Africans and Muslim communities but all the major religions of the UK support the principles of organ donation and transplantation. Click here to read more on Religious viewpoints on organ donation.
Work with faith leaders and within communities is ongoing to raise awareness of the need for people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities to sign up to the NHS Organ donation register and discuss their decision to donate with their families.