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Community organisations boost black organ donor numbers

Four community organisations - The African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT), One World Foundation, Caribbean & African Health Network Greater Manchester, and the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust's Kidney Patients Association - have been hailed for their efforts to promote organ donation in the black community.

These four organisations are amongst 25 organisations to share a £140,000 Community Investment Scheme funding pot from NHS Blood and Transplant aimed at highlighting the urgent need for black, Asian and minority ethnic donors in the UK.

Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust's Kidney Patients Association has been working collaboratively with Joined Up Thinking JUT CIC and Creative Youth Zone, to encourage young black adults from African and Caribbean ethnic backgrounds to become ambassadors for organ donation.

Image credit: The Voice website

The project set up by the Caribbean & African Health Network (CAHN) in Greater Manchester titled 'Precious Life Savers', aimed to engage faith leaders and their congregations.

A common theme in efforts to boost black organ donor numbers was to challenge negative attitudes towards organ donation among London's black community - presentations at schools, community events and social media were some of the methods used to tackle this issue.

The second round of projects funded through the BAME Community Investment scheme is now underway with a further £190,000 distributed amongst another 25 projects.

Helping to potentially save the lives of thousands, as of 20 May 2020, all adults in England are now considered as having agreed to donate their own organs when they die, unless they record a decision to not donate (known as 'opt-out'), are in one of the excluded groups or have nominated a representative to make the decision on their behalf.

Key issues that detriment feelings towards organ donation among black Britons are mistrust of the medical establishments that serve them and misinterpretation of religious beliefs. Numerous presentation talks and discussions have taken place to start to break down these barriers.

So far, over 15,000 people at 15 events, workshops and forums, have been engaged, with nearly 300 people successfully encouraged to become organ donors.

Health Minister Lord Bethell said: "Building awareness is critical, and projects like this are doing excellent work with local communities and black minority ethnic groups".


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