With a rising proportion of people who die in need of a transplant is from a black, Asian and ethnic minority background, the UK government has announced new plans to change the law for organ and tissue donation to address the urgent need.
The proposals will include a new opt-out system for organ donation for England, a statement said. The campaign aims to increase donation rates by raising awareness and breaking down barriers to donation within these communities. The Government has commissioned NHS Blood and Transplant to deliver the campaign with support from the National BAME Transplant Alliance (NBTA), it said.
Figures from NHS Blood and Transplant show that 21 percent of people who died on the waiting list last year was from a black, Asian or ethnic minority background compared with 15 percent a decade ago.
Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price said that the campaign being launched will be a driving force to save more lives. “The Government, MPs, faith leaders, charities, campaigners, influencers, friends and families, all have a role to play to address myths and barriers and bring attention to the lifesaving power of donation. Our project will include a community investment scheme to enable local groups to deliver this vital work, ” he said.
Three out of 10 people (30.6% at 31 March 2018) waiting for a transplant across the UK are from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background. 35% of people waiting for a kidney in 2017/18 were from these backgrounds. These patients wait significantly longer for a kidney transplant than white patients – approximately two and a half years compared with two years.