Last year, two community groups and organizations in the South West received £685,000 funding from the Government to address health inequalities and promote organ, blood, and stem cell donation among Black and Asian communities.
The funding is part of the Community Grants Programme managed by NHS Blood and Transplant, which supports community organizations in encouraging more Black and Asian people to become donors. The shortage of donors from these communities results in worse outcomes for patients, as people from the same ethnic background are more likely to be a match.
For sickle cell patients, NHSBT can only provide the best matched blood around 50% of the time, and the condition is rapidly growing in the UK, particularly among Black African and Black Caribbean backgrounds.
The NHS requires 250 blood donations daily to treat sickle cell patients. Black and Asian individuals also face longer wait times for organ transplants. They make up a third of all people on the transplant waiting list due to difficulties finding a match. While white patients have an 80-90% chance of finding a stem cell match from a stranger, this drops to 30-40% for Black, Asian, and mixed race individuals.
The Community Grants Programme has demonstrated that supporting grassroots organisations to promote donation in culturally relevant ways increases awareness.
This news story has been produced by Chesil Radio's News Team, for more information please visit: https://www.chesilradio.com