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Black and Asian organ donor campaign in Stratford

PUBLISHED: 06:30 01 November 2011

Eastenders and Bend It Like Beckham actress Pooja Shah is supporting the new NHS campaign.

Eastenders and Bend It Like Beckham actress Pooja Shah is supporting the new NHS campaign.

Archant

Black and Asian people are being encouraged to join the Organ Donor Register in Stratford this weekend as it is revealed that more than three quarters of people waiting for transplants in Newham are from these communities.

NHS Blood and Transplants (NHSBT) will be at the Stratford Centre on Saturday hosting a special stand between Fusion clothing store and the Pharmacy in which people will be able to find out more and sign the register.

As of the end of September, there were 52 people in Newham on the active transplant list and 40 of them, 76.9 per cent, were from the Black or Asian community who make up less than two per cent of potential donors, often meaning that they wait up to three times longer for a transplant than the general population.

Alia Rashid, Specialist Nurse in Organ Donation, NHS Blood and Transplant said: “It is vital that more people from the Black and Asian communities sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register.

“People from these communities are three times more likely to need an organ transplant than the rest of the population – but under two per cent have formally recorded their wishes by joining the Register.

“A transplant is much more likely to be successful if the donor and recipient have the same ethnic origin. Offering to become an organ donor means that you could save or enhance as many as nine lives.”

Eastenders and Bend It Like Beckham actress Pooja Shah is supporting the campaign in Newham, adding: “I urge anyone from any background to join the NHS Organ Donor Register.

“But we’re especially short of Asian people on the register at the moment, and more than 1,000 Asians are currently waiting for a life-changing transplant operation as result. When I thought about the difference I might make to the life of someone in my community it made it a very easy decision for me to sign up.”

Join the NHS Organ Donor Register at www.organdonation.nhs.uk or www.facebook.com/organdonationuk or call NHS Donor Line on 0300 123 0000 or text ORGAN to 64118.


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