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Why black, Asian and minority ethnic 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 black and Asian organ donors

People from Black and Asian communities are more likely to develop high blood pressure, diabetes and certain forms of hepatitis than white people. This makes them more likely to need a transplant.

Three in 10 (31%)% of people waiting for a transplant across the UK are from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background. Over a third of people (35%) waiting for a kidney are from these backgrounds.

Our campaign objectives:

  • increase the proportion of black and Asian people who are willing or would consider donating from 69% towards the England average 80%
  • increase the proportion of black or Asian people who have had a conversation about organ donation from 40% towards the England average of 48%
  • increase the proportion of black and Asian people who have told their close family/partner that they want to donate their organs from 28% of black adults and 16% of Asian adults to the England average of 33%.

Campaign to increase black blood donors

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

Black donors are ten times more likely to have the Ro and B positive blood types urgently needed to treat the 15,000 people in the UK suffering from sickle cell disease. Sickle cell is a painful and debilitating condition which is particularly prevalent in people with an African or Caribbean background.

To get the best treatment, patients need blood which is closely matched to their own. This is most likely to come from a donor of the same ethnicity. Yet only 1% of current blood donors are black – that’s 11,400 people.

Our campaign objectives:

  • deliver more donors from vulnerable blood groups
  • 10k new black African/Caribbean donors in 2018/19 to help meet increased demand for Ro subtype to treat Sickle Cell patients.