A charity that helps to prevent kidney disease and aims to increase the number of organ donors has announced a partnership with the Westfield Health British Transplant Games which take place in Newport this month.
Global Kidney Foundation is keen to use the Games as an opportunity to raise awareness of the need for more people in black, Asian, and ethnic minority (BAME) communities to support organ donation.
Zahid Bhatti is the founder of Global Kidney Foundation. He is a businessman who received a double kidney transplant:
“By donating your organs after you die, you can save or transform up to nine people’s lives. To donate, your family needs to consent and, while consent rates are increasing among BAME communities, they are still less likely to agreed to go ahead than white families.”
“Unfortunately, people from BAME communities are more likely to require a transplant and often face a much longer wait for a transplant than a white person.“
“Due to the major health risk factors that can lead to kidney disease, and due to an ageing population, the number of people needing a transplant is expected to drastically increase over the coming years. So, it is crucial that we reach out to BAME communities.”
“We have been targeting BAME communities through community events and tailored seminar sessions. And we are looking forward to the Westfield Health British Transplant Games to meet participants and donors from BAME communities and to celebrate the benefits of organ donation.”
According to NHS Blood and Transplant, 35% of patients in 2018 waiting for a kidney were from BAME communities. One in five people who died on the Transplant Waiting List in 2017 was from a BAME background.
Welsh Government Health Minister Vaughan Gething explains:
“There are still people dying as they wait for a transplant so we need as many people as possible from all ethnic backgrounds to agree to donate.
“That’s why the Welsh Government has offered funding to help community groups to talk to people from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds. The Westfield Health British Transplant Games are a brilliant way to celebrate and showcase the positive impact organ donation can have.”
Mithun Rane, 38, lives in Barry with his young family. He came to Cardiff from Mumbai as an international student.
He has been on the transplant waiting list for a kidney since 2016 and receives dialysis at home. His doctors have told him he can expect to wait a further four to six years:
“I have waited longer for a match because of my Asian ethnicity. I feel that health conditions have a shameful stigma attached to them and can even be seen as an Act of God to punish you. Also, in some Hindu and Muslim communities it’s considered “HARAM” (unholy) to donate organs before burials. There needs to be education and discussion because it’s horribly ironic that these ethnic groups are more susceptible for kidney, blood pressure and heart-related disorders.