Applications have opened for a fund to help groups dispel some of the myths around organ donation in black, Asian and ethnic minority communities.

First published:
16 July 2019
Last updated:

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While the latest statistics show understanding and support for organ donation is growing among black and Asian communities, 20% of respondents still say they would not donate organs and 43% said they didn’t know.

The main barrier is the belief that organ donation is against their culture or religion. However, all the major religions in the UK support organ donation and transplantation.

The latest survey shows understanding is improving, 39% of respondents correctly answered that you get a better a match with a donor of your own ethnicity compared with 22% in May 2018. While 35% of respondents stated that black and Asian people are proportionally more likely to need an organ compared with 11% in May 2018.

Community and faith-based groups from across Wales are now being invited to apply for funding from a £20,000 pot, to help break down myths and barriers and increase support for organ donation among black, Asian and ethnic minority communities.

The scheme is funded by the Welsh Government and the Department of Health and Social Care, and is led by NHS Blood and Transplant.

Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething said:

“There has been a big increase in consent rates for organ donation in Wales recently, but there are still people dying waiting for a transplant so we need as many people as possible, from all ethnic backgrounds to agree to donate.

This latest research highlights the many misconceptions people still have about organ donation. We want to make sure people are fully informed when making their decision, which is why we are offering funding to help community groups talk to people from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds about organ donation and the positive impact a decision to donate can have.”

Anthony Clarkson, NHS Blood and Transplant Interim Director for Organ Donation and Transplantation, said:

“The projects funded under round one of this scheme have initiated and informed conversations across a spectrum of faiths and communities about the precious gift of organ donation.

“We are delighted to be able to support a second round of this fantastic community-led work, and hopefully encourage more people from black, Asian, mixed race and minority ethnic backgrounds to decide that they want to be a lifesaving organ donor and share that decision with their families.”