Would you consider donating if a loved one needed a transplant?
All this week on Awaz FM we are running an Organ Donation Awareness Campaign. Tune into Awaz FM this week on various programs for everything you wanted to know about Organ Donation.
There will also be programs throughout the week in Urdu and Punjabi and Pushto.
More ethnic minority organ donors needed Campaign aims to increase awareness of organ donation among black and minority ethnic communities
People from South Asian and black communities in Scotland are being encouraged to give the gift of life by signing up to join the NHS Organ Donor Register.
Currently, patients from black and minority ethnic backgrounds wait, on average, twice as long for kidney transplants, compared with patients from the white population because of the shortage of suitable organs.
A week-long awareness-raising campaign will launch on Glasgow's largest Asian radio station, Awaz FM, tomorrow (Monday).
Backed by patients, medical staff and religious leaders, the campaign aims to raise awareness of the need for more people from ethnic minorities to add their name to the donor register.
Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said:
"It's a stark reality that more than a quarter of the people waiting for a transplant are from black and minority ethnic communities. A transplant is much more likely to be successful if the donor and recipient have the same ethnic origin, but less than five per cent of organ donors are from these communities.
"The shortage of suitable organs means that waiting times for black, South Asian, Chinese and other groups are much longer than those for the general population. That's a state of affairs that can't go on."
Doctor Rajan Madhok, who has been involved in raising awareness within the BME community said:
"Organ donation is a difficult and often taboo subject within BME communities. There's a host of misconceptions surrounding the issue but we are working to change this, and educate everyone about the process.
"There's a shortage of compatible donors for BME patients but this can be turned around. There's no reason not to join the NHS Organ Donor Register and save a life after your death."
Ravinder Kaur Nijjar, Chairman of the Association of Indian Organisations Health Advisory Board, said:
"Serving humanity and helping others is an integral part of life for people from the Indian subcontinent. A true act of service is giving someone the chance to live a healthy life by donating an organ."
Javed Sattar from Awaz FM said:
"The BME community needs to understand the importance of organ donation, and the need for everyone to join the Register in order to save innocent lives. Faith communities need clear guidance on organ donation and we hope our week-long campaign will help raise awareness and educate listeners in multilingual languages."
EastEnders' actress Nina Wadia, whose mother Homai died while waiting on a kidney transplant, said:
"As a nation we all need to come together and unite over organ donation. There's no reason not to join the NHS Organ Donor Register, we all have it in us to save a life after our death regardless of age or religion. Asians wait three times as long for a transplant due to shortages and are also more likely to need an organ transplant.
"All the major religions of the UK support the principles of organ donation and transplantation. I would encourage everyone to join the NHS Organ Donor Register today."
STV sports presenter Raman Bhardwaj also supports the campaign. He said:
"I am very happy to endorse this hugely important cause and would encourage everyone to join the NHS Organ Donor Register. Every name on the Register carries hope and the chance to save a life."
To join the NHS Organ Donor Register visit www.organdonationscotland.org or text "Life" to 61611.
There are 2,726 black and minority ethnic (BME) people waiting for a transplant in the UK.
BME people are three times more likely to need a transplant than the rest of the population because of the higher incidence of diabetes and high blood pressure, which can lead to kidney failure, and heart disease.
All the major faith groups in the UK support the principle of organ donation.
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