A Midlands MP has welcomed moves by the NHS to encourage organ donation in the South Asian community.

Following a Parliamentary answer to him from Health Minister, Jane Ellison, John Spellar MP said:-

“These are welcome steps to support organ donation and help organ transplants and I urge institutions and groups in the community to encourage widespread participation.”


The Department of Health has provided the following answer to John Spellar’s written parliamentary question (21358):

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to encourage the take up of organ donor cards among South Asian and other minority ethnic communities. (21358)

Tabled on: 06 January 2016

Jane Ellison:

UK Government provides NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) with around £60 million a year to support organ donation. In 2013, NHSBT launched a UK -; wide organ donation and transplantation strategy Taking Organ Transplantation to 2020, setting the agenda for increasing organ donation and transplantation rates. The Department has also established the National Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Transplant Alliance with the aim of raising awareness about the need for stem cell and organ donation, and increasing the number of people from BAME communities who can benefit from either a stem cell or organ transplant.

South Asian people are more likely to need a kidney transplant than a Caucasian person but families are less likely to consent to organ donation. The result is that patients from South Asian background wait much longer for organ transplants, particularly for a kidney transplant. Therefore, to support the wider 2020 strategy, the Department funded Kidney Research UK to undertake a Peer Educator Programme within the Pakistani Muslim community in Birmingham with the aim of raising awareness of the lack of donors and increasing the numbers on the bone marrow and organ donation registers. Lessons learnt will support the roll-out of the programme in other similar areas of work.

NHSBT also has a wide range of leaflets promoting organ donation that are translated into a number of different South Asian languages including Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu.

The answer was submitted on 15 Jan 2016 at 13:29.

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