Why Black and Asian donors are needed

The increasing priority of finding people from all backgrounds and communities to be blood and organ donors

We need to increase the number of donors for both blood donation and organ donation who come from Black and Asian backgrounds.

With Government support, we are currently campaigning to improve the outcomes for people from all communities who may need blood products or an organ transplant.

Campaign to increase organ donation amongst people of Black and Asian heritage

There is a significant need for more organ donors of Black and Asian heritage to help the growing number patients from these backgrounds waiting for life-saving transplants.

A third of patients waiting for a transplant are from a minority ethnic background and the majority are waiting for a kidney. Kidneys are matched by blood group and tissue type and there is a better chance of finding a suitable match from a donor of the same ethnicity

You can donate a kidney while you are alive, and this is called living organ donation. However, most organ donations come from people who have died.

To be an organ donor when you die, the best thing to do is to confirm your name and decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

Our campaign objectives across England and Wales:

  • Increase knowledge about living and deceased organ donation amongst people of Black and Asian heritage
  • Increase willingness to consider organ donation amongst people of Black and Asian heritage
  • Increase the number of people of Black and Asian heritage who are registering to opt in to organ donation on the NHS Organ Donor Register and considering becoming a live kidney donor

Campaign to increase Black heritage blood donors

Increasing the number of people of Black heritage who donate blood is an urgent priority for NHS Blood and Transplant.

Black heritage donors are ten times more likely to have the Ro blood type urgently needed to treat the 15,000 people in the UK with sickle cell disorder. Sickle cell is a painful and debilitating condition which is particularly prevalent in people of Black African, Black Caribbean or Mixed background.

To get the best treatment, people need blood which is closely matched to their own. This is most likely to come from a blood donor of the same ethnicity. Yet only 2% of current blood donors are of Black heritage – that’s 19,300 people.

Our campaign objectives:

  • Increase awareness of the need for blood donors of Black heritage
  • Recruit 12,000 new donors of Black heritage in 2023/24, to help meet the increasing demand for Ro subtype needed by people fighting sickle cell disorder