School pupils should learn about organ and blood donation to help tackle of the “silent crisis” of a lack of ethnic minority donors in England, a group of Labour MPs has said. The BBC reports,
Demand for blood, stem cells and organs in these groups is particularly high and supply very low, their review says. Lack of awareness and a mistrust of clinicians were among the reasons.
MPs said teaching children about donation would boost donor numbers by preventing “misinformation spreading”.
Although people from ethnic minority groups can receive donations from white people, the best match is often from a person with the same ethnic background.
The review into BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) blood, stem cell and organ donation, overseen by the group of ministers, highlighted that more than a third of those on the waiting list for a kidney transplant are from BAME groups, and they wait on average a year longer for a transplant than white people.
But fewer than 5% of blood donors last year were from BAME communities – which make up about 14% of the total UK population – and the percentage was similar for organ donations after death, according to the report.
The report said a cultural shift was needed around donation but there had been little activity involving national bodies and community groups to boost donor numbers outside London.
Health minister Jackie Doyle-Price said: “We are engaging with these communities to encourage more donors – but for some there will be concerns around their faith and religious beliefs. For others it will be an issue of trust.”
Read the full article Educate children to tackle ethnic minority donor crisis, MPs say
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