Peer educator project aims to increase organ donation rates in BAME community

A lack of donors amongst the BAME (Black, Asian, Minority and Ethnic) community means that a BAME patient may wait 8-12 months longer for a kidney transplant than a white patient.

Kidney Research UK launched a peer education project at the East London Mosque earlier this week with the goal of increasing the number of BAME donors in Tower Hamlets.

Those attending the event heard from Professor Magdi Yaqoob, an expert in kidney treatment; Dr Ismail Mohamed, a Consultant Transplant Surgeon at the Royal London Hospital and Dr Mansur Ali, a lecturer in Islamic Studies at Cardiff University on the reasons why there is such a massive need for donors, as well as a patient waiting for a suitable donor.

Dr Mansur Ali

Dr Ali said: “The number of Muslim organ donors is much lower than the overall UK average. I hope that my work will provide some clarity around this complex subject and empower families affected by these issues to make informed, considered decisions.”

The Peer Educator Model is based upon the Hiba Project that Kidney Research UK ran in Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh which led to 3,000 people signing up to the NHS Organ Donation Register.

“We are working in partnership with Kidney Research UK and Barts Health NHS Trust to help raise awareness of the great need for BAME donors,” said John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets. “People may not realise that poorly managed diabetes can often lead to kidney failure so we are urging people to start these conversations with their families today.”

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