Give Hope This Easter – NHS Organ Donation
Church leaders from black Christian organizations are meeting on Easter to urge more people of African, Caribbean or mixed descent to become blood and organ donors.
Faith leaders from 30 faith-based organizations across the country are joining NHS Blood and Transplant in supporting the 2022 ‘Give Hope This Easter’ campaign.
They are calling on members of the black Christian community to register to donate blood and join the NHS organ donor register, sharing this decision with their families.
It comes ahead of a summit of black religious leaders in London on April 19 to discuss ways to tackle barriers to giving in African and Caribbean communities and raise awareness of the need for more donors.
There is an urgent need for more people of African, Caribbean or mixed descent to become blood and organ donors.
Why do we need more black heritage donors?
The best chances of compatibility for patients requiring a blood transfusion or kidney transplant are more likely to come from donors of the same ethnic background.
Donor shortages mean that patients who are of black descent and need blood or a kidney transplant wait much longer for a transplant or receive a less suitable blood transfusion.
There are currently 607 black patients waiting for a transplant.
Sickle cell disease is a blood disorder more common in Africans or Caribbeans that requires regular blood transfusions to help treat and prevent painful symptoms and complications.
Ethnic blood gives patients the best chance of long-term health, and black donors are 10 times more likely to have the Ro subtype needed to treat many sickle cell patients.
The Importance of Ro Blood
Bishop Mark Nicholson of ACTS Christian Ministries has been donating blood since the 1980s, but it wasn’t until a recent donation that he realized he had the rare but rare Ro blood type. in demand, which people with sickle cell disease need most often.
Inspired by this, Bishop Mark organized a blood donation event for people of black descent in Croydon.
Bishop Mark said: “It was an amazing feeling to know that I had this important Ro blood subtype and have connected it to my spirituality – to know that I can do this simple thing to help save lives in the black African and Caribbean community. was unbelievable.
“And this is especially important at Easter, because it reminds me of the gift of life that Jesus gave to others and how we as a community can follow his example and help our friends and neighbors through the gift of giving. “
Support organ donation
When it comes to organ donation, a recent report found that 39.5% of Black, Asian, Mixed, or Minority Ethnic families agreed to support donation, compared to 69% of White families.
When questioned, the majority of these families replied that they did not know what their loved one would have wanted or that they felt they did not know enough about organ donation.
Some still did not know to what extent organ donation corresponded to their faith and beliefs.
Religious leaders of all religions have spoken out in favor of organ donation and all major religions in the UK have pledged to support organ donation in principle.
About our Easter campaign
Paul Rochester, General Secretary of the Free Churches Group, said: “We are delighted to be working with the NHS Blood and Transplant team on this event.
“It is important that churches use their networks and influence to encourage new donors from black, Asian, mixed-race and minority ethnic communities to come forward and donate blood.
“I also want to encourage people in these communities to talk about organ donation with their families at Easter and share their decision with them, because the gift of life through transplantation is a wonderful thing.”
The campaign is also backed by gospel singer and songwriter, broadcaster and first radio host Muyiwa Olarewaju who supports organ and blood donation in a series of social media videos.
Muyiwa Olarewaju said, “I never want to live with the idea that I could have done more to help, to save someone in need. Love always gives”
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: ‘This Easter I urge people to give hope to those on the transplant waiting list or dependent on blood transfusions , discussing becoming blood and organ donors with loved ones.
“People from black communities have to wait much longer for organ matching and are more likely to suffer from sickle cell disease which requires regular transfusions.
“Addressing these long-standing health disparities is one of my top priorities and we need all communities to work together to save and transform the lives of thousands of people.”
Geraldine Parker, national community engagement manager at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Easter is an important time for reflection, hope and celebration of the gift of life.
“With the support of church leaders, we hope this message of compassion will inspire more people in the Black Christian community to become blood and organ donors.
“Donating blood is quick and easy and you can save up to three lives in just one hour.
“Over 60% of people of Black, Asian and minority ethnicity tell us that they would be willing to donate their organs after they die, but it is important for people to know that families will always be consulted before the donation is made, so please speak to your family at Easter to share your decision and register it in the NHS Organ Donor Register.
We urge people to record their organ donation decision and share their decision with their family. You can register your decision online or call 0300 123 23 23.
Become a blood donor. Register today and book an appointment online, by calling 0300 123 23 23 or by downloading the GiveBloodNHS app.
Photo: Bishop Mark Nicholson donates blood