Push to find more ethnic organ donors

DONORS from south Asian and black communities in Scotland are being encouraged to join the NHS Organ Donor Register.

According to government figures, patients from black and minority ethnic backgrounds wait, on average, twice as long for kidney transplants as white patients, because of the shortage of suitable organs.

A week-long awareness- raising campaign is set to launch on Glasgow's largest Asian radio station, Awaz FM, today.

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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 5 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. That's a state of affairs that can't go on."

Dr Rajan Madhok, who has been involved in raising awareness, said: "Organ donation is a difficult and often taboo subject within BME communities. We are working to educate everyone about the process."