Black History Month
Join us this Black History Month as we encourage more people of Black heritage to register their organ donation decision and share it with their loved ones.
Black patients often have to wait significantly longer for a successful match than white patients, due to a shortage of suitably matched donors.
Ethnically matched organs save lives
For many patients in need of a transplant, the best match will come from a donor with the same ethnic background.
Organs are matched by blood group or tissue type, and people from the same ethnic background are more likely to have matching blood groups and tissue types.
If you are Black, your decision to become an organ donor could mean saving the life of someone of the same heritage after you are gone.
"There’s a real need for people to establish the facts about organ donation and educate themselves on what it means."
Don't be fooled
Get the facts behind common misconceptions around organ donation and funeral arrangements, faith and beliefs, the opt out system, family involvement and more.
Organ donation has changed
Organ donation in England has changed to an opt out system. It's still for you to decide whether or not you want to become an organ donor, and you can make your decision - or change your mind - any time.
One of the first black nurses to work for the NHS, Kofoworola Abeni Pratt was born in Lagos, Nigeria and trained at the Nightingale School at St Thomas’ in the 1940s.
During her time at St Thomas’ she faced racial discrimination, when a patient refused to be treated by a black nurse.
After Nigeria gained independence in 1960, she became the first Nigerian to be appointed Matron of the University College Hospital in Ibadan.
She later became Chief Nursing Officer for Nigeria and was the first black woman to be named Vice-President of the International Council of Nurses.
Week 1: Daniel Hale Williams
Performed what is often credited as the first successful operation on a human heart.
Week 2: Sir Magdi Yacoub
Pioneering work in repairing heart valves. Performed the UK's first combined heart and lung transplant.
Week 3: Dr. Velma Scantlebury
First female African-American transplant surgeon in the US.
Other ways to get involved
There are lots of ways to raise awareness about the need for more Black organ donors and bring hope to those in need this Black History Month.
Keep checking back, as we'll be adding details of more activities and opportunities as the month goes on.
There's more than one way to be a hero!
On social media
Join our hosts Calvin Campbell and Davina Caballlero on Facebook Live this Black History Month as they look to raise awareness of the need for ethnically matched blood and the need for more Black donors.
Meet the hosts
Calvin has sickle cell SS and is a campaigner for NHS Blood and Transplant, responsible for recruiting new blood donors and particularly those from the Black community. He is a proud grandfather and member of the B Positive Choir, who performed for Her Majesty The Queen as part of Britain’s Got Talent in 2018.
Davinia is founder of Healthy Afro, an organisation promoting a healthy lifestyle within the Black community. Davinia has sickle cell and has lived through further life-threatening complications, receiving a kidney from her brother in 2017. Sadly, the transplant has since failed, and Davinia is currently on dialysis. She continues to run her online business whilst studying to become a health consultant. She is also a founding member of the B Positive Choir.
28th October at 6pm
Why ethnicity matters
We'll be looking at how better matched blood and organ donations provide better outcomes for Black patients.
Follow us at @nhsorgandonor
London-based Tunde works as an economic and business environment researcher. He too has sickle cell, and is an ardent football fan supporting both England and Nigeria.