By Hayley Longster
More kidney donors from minority ethnic communities are needed in Bradford – and now an event has been held to help find them.
The event, which was held today at the Trident Park Lane Centre in Bradford, was attended by doctors from Bradford Royal Infirmary and St Luke’s Hospital, representatives of NHS Blood and Organ Transplant Donation and former transplant patients, who spoke about their experiences.
There was a question-and-answer session and a discussion on ways of boosting organ donation in the South Asian community.
The event was organised by Nadeem Butt, who registered as a donor when his friend, Mohammed Rafique Butt, had a transplant in 2013 after suffering from kidney failure, which lead to dialysis for several years.
Mukhtar Ali, who co-organised the event, said: “It’s about raising awareness throughout Yorkshire. We want to make communities aware of the situation and hopefully reverse the trend – right now there is a 5% decrease in organ donation nationally.”
Shakoor Ahmed, 31, donated a kidney to his brother in 2009. he said: “It is definitely a subject that’s not much talked about in the Asian community.”
Watch Shakoor talk about his experiences in our video below.
According to Kidney Research UK, kidney failure is up to five times more common in people from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, yet they make up less than 3.5 percent of the NHS organ donor register.
The charity also recently reported that the number of people donating kidneys went down last year for the first time in 11 years.
Sarah Boul of the Strategic Clinical Network of Yorkshire & Humber, said: “Patients that have transplants always say what a life changing experience it is. It’s really important that everyone has the opportunity to have a transplant and live a much more normal life than one on dialysis.”
Linda Pickering, Advocacy Officer for the National Kidney Federation, said: “I think a lot of it has to do with religious perception of transplants – although there are no barriers within a lot of religions to transplanting organs.”
There are many ways to join the NHS Organ Donor Register, most of which people may not know about as they are seamlessly built into other registration processes.
Besides visiting organdonation.nhs.uk or calling 0300 123 2323, someone can have their details automatically registered – if requested – when they become a new blood donor, apply for a driving licence, register at a new GP’s surgery, apply for an EHIC European health card, or even apply for a Boots Advantage Card. It’s as easy as texting SAVE to 62323.