Asians Urged to Join Donor Register


NHS Blood and Transplant reveals nearly 6,000 Asian people in the UK have had to wait for a transplant in the last decade….reports Asian Lite News

 5,768 people from Asian communities in the UK have endured the wait for an organ transplant in the last 10 years and 644 of them have died before receiving the transplant they desperately needed, new statistics reveal.

The figures released today by NHS Blood and Transplant (20/11/15) coincide with the launch of a neworgan donation campaign ‘The Wait’ to highlight the true scale of the organ shortage.

Patients from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities are over-represented on the transplant waiting list with 28% of patients coming from these communities. The shortage of donated organsmeans that patients can wait a long time for an organ or even die without getting the transplant they need.  For example, Asian people who get the kidney transplant they need wait longer than white people – on average 1,208 days compared to 955 days.

‘The Wait’ campaign launches with the release of a 14 hour film capturing a day in the life of patient Simon Howell, 41, his wife Anita, also 41, and their children Sarah, 8, and James, 3.  Born with a serious kidney condition, renal dysplasia, Simon had his first kidney transplant in 2005 thanks to his mum offering to be a living donor. Unfortunately, in 2009, the kidney failed.  Simon was added to the transplant waiting list for a new kidney and has been waiting longer than six years already.

Simon allowed cameras to record the reality of just one of the many days he has spent waiting for a suitable organ to highlight just how difficult life is on the transplant waiting list.

Simon’s day is dominated by his illness. His day is punctuated with four life-saving sessions of dialysis, indescribable fatigue and constant uncertainty for the future as he and his family live in hope that a suitable donor organ will become available.

Talking about the impact of being on dialysis and waiting for a transplant, Simon said: “My family and I are on a roller coaster and like a roller coaster, I can’t see the twists and turns or how it will end. But a transplant would completely transform my health and all our lives.”

Sally Johnson, NHS Blood and Transplant Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation said: “We have launched this campaign to draw attention to what waiting for a transplant is really like.  We really hope that more Asian people will sign up as organ donors so they can potentially save lives in future.

“I’d ask you to imagine how you’d feel if someone close to you was waiting for a transplant; their whole life on hold, hoping someone will donate to save them.  I’m sure we’d all hope an organ would be available to help someone we love – so shouldn’t we all pledge to be organ donors so more lives can be saved?

“If you haven’t told those closest to you that you want to be an organ donor, then please do it today. Tell them you want to be an organ donor and record your decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register.”

Kirit Modi, a kidney transplant recipient who campaigns for more donors from Asian communities,said: “I was fortunate enough to receive a kidney from my wife in 2001 and the transplant really transformed my life.  However, like many other people who’ve had a transplant, I’ll need another one in future.

“We should all ask ourselves whether we should accept 1 in 10 Asian people dying before receiving the transplant they need. This is a situation that we can change if more people commit to be donors from Asian and other communities. Asian community groups, including faith groups need to do more by working in partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant and others to bring about urgent change to save lives.”