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East Ham MP Stephen Timms pleas with ethnic minorities to boost donor register

PUBLISHED: 09:52 27 April 2016 | UPDATED: 09:52 27 April 2016

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Members of black and South Asian communities make up 14 per cent of the UK population.

But they account for 27pc of the patients in Britain waiting for an organ transplant.

It’s a worry that some of them face a very long wait. For example, a kidney patient from an ethnic minority background can wait up to a year longer than others for a kidney transplant. To reduce these waits, there is an urgent need for more ethnic minority blood and organ donors.

When a person donates their organs or blood, it needs to be ‘matched’ to a patient. People from the same ethnic group are more likely to ‘match’ each other. In fact, black and South Asian patients often have blood types which are rare among others. This is why more donors from the same ethnic background are needed.

Sickle Cell Anaemia is a blood disease which is common amongst all black people. Thalassaemia is a blood disease that affects people from South Asian and Mediterranean backgrounds. Blood donations are needed to help those who suffer from these diseases.

You may well know people who have been affected. The NHS could help more of those affected, more quickly, if there were more blood and organ ‘matches’.

I recently met with NHS Blood and Transplant, a special health authority providing blood and transplant services to the NHS. They are responsible for blood and organ donation. They told me that, in January, there were 27 black and South Asian people in East Ham waiting for an organ donation. I want their wait to be as short as possible, so they can return to living full lives as soon as possible.

Please consider registering as a blood or organ donor. You can do so by calling 0300 123 2323, or at blood.co.uk and organdonation.nhs.uk More from Stephen


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