Funding Available to Address Organ, Blood & Stem Cell Donor Shortage – Keep The Faith ® The Black, Multi-Ethnic Christian UK Magazine

Funding of £ 440,000 available to address shortage of organ, blood and stem cell donors among black, Asian and ethnic minority communities

New funding has just been announced as part of the government’s commitment to tackle health inequalities.

Program aims to address organ shortage for transplants of all Black, Asian and minority ethnicities, as well as an urgent need for more black blood donors to treat blood disorders like sickle cell anemia. For the first time this year, NHS Blood and Transplant will also work in partnership with Anthony Nolan, a leading blood cancer charity, to raise awareness about stem cell donation.

The community investment program run by the NHS Blood and Transplant will fund community, faith or belief organizations to implement projects that encourage more blacks and Asians to donate. The program was set up to find community organizations that can be trusted voices to help overcome barriers, normalize blood and organ donation, and spur behavior change within Black and Asian communities.

In the program’s fourth year, the NHS Blood and Transplant is now looking for applications that will engage diverse communities at the local level.

An estimated total of £ 440,000 is available for community projects across the UK. Organizations will be able to apply for one of four funding rounds:

  • Funds up to £ 2,499 (blood, organ or combined)
  • Funds between £ 2,500 and £ 10,000 (blood, organ or combined)
  • Funds between £ 10,001 and £ 20,000 (blood or combined)
  • Fixed amount fund of £ 20,000 (stem cell)

The continued impact of Covid-19 makes innovative approaches to community engagement essential and therefore NHS Blood and Transplant is looking for projects that can be delivered digitally.

The latest statistics from the NHS Blood and Transplant Annual Report on Organ Donation and Transplantation in Black, Asian, Mixed and Ethnic Minority Communities, show that there were only 146 organ donors from these communities. in 2020/21 (84 dead and 62 alive). A 25% reduction in deceased donors and a 61% reduction in living donors compared to 2019/20 figures.

During the same period, there were a total of 1,180 deceased organ donors in the UK, including 7% from Black, Asian, mixed origin and minority ethnic communities, but there are still 1,237 people left on the waiting list of these communities, or 29.5% of all people waiting for a transplant.

However, when approached about organ donation in the past year, 39.5% of Black, Asian, mixed origin, or minority ethnic families agreed to support donation, compared to 69%. white families.

Many families may still find this difficult because organ donation is not something they have discussed with their loved ones. Others are still concerned about whether organ donation can proceed in accordance with their religious beliefs.

Additionally, NHS Blood and Transplant is encouraging more people from Black African and Black Caribbean communities to become blood donors.

Sickle cell disease is the fastest growing genetic disease in the UK, with 300 babies a year born with the blood disease. People of black African or black Caribbean descent are most likely to have this condition, which can often require regular blood transfusions. For those who depend on regular transfusions, it is essential that they receive blood as close to their own as possible. A match is most likely to come from a donor of the same ethnicity. Currently, black blood donors represent 1.5% of the total donor base.

Finally, NHS Blood and Transplant is working in partnership with Anthony Nolan to find projects to raise awareness of stem cell donation, particularly in Asian communities.

Genetically, patients in need of a stem cell transplant are much more likely to match stem cell donors of similar ethnicity. People from ethnic minorities often have rarer tissue types, making it more difficult to find suitable donors.

Altaf Kazi, Head of Partnerships and Community Engagement at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Through the Community Investment Program, we have seen the power of trusted individuals and community groups to spark conversation, fight against disinformation, educate and reassure about deceased organ donation and blood donation. We are now happy to be able to open the program to encourage stem cell donation as well.

We are calling on more people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities to learn about blood, organ and stem cell donation and help us address the health inequalities that many members of these communities may face. to be confronted. By giving your support, you can help save lives.

Henny Braund MBE, Managing Director of Anthony Nolan, says: “Patients from ethnic minorities are more likely to be told that there is no matching donor for them in the stem cell donor registry; we need to do everything we can to make sure no one hears those words. The Community Investment Program is a great initiative, through which we engage with the Pakistani community to raise awareness of the Anthony Nolan Registry. This in turn will increase the number of Pakistani-origin stem cell donors and improve the chances for patients seeking their vital donor.

If you are between 16 and 30 years old and from an ethnic minority background, patients need people like you to give them a second chance at life. You can be part of the solution by signing up to the Anthony Nolan Registry.

You will find more information about the community investment program and how to apply. or by contacting:

Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. on 9e January 2022 and projects must be completed by 1st October 2023.

The Community Investment Program is part of a government-funded campaign led by the NHS Blood and Transplant with support from the National BAME Transplant Alliance (NBTA) to address the urgent need for black, Asian and ethnic minority donors .

Written by: Sabrina Kumari

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