Improving Organ Donation Rates Among Asian Indians In the UK & USA
The high kidney failure rate among the Asians from the Indian sub-continent and their low donation rate has meant that these communities wait longer to get a kidney transplant in countries such as USA & UK, where there is a large population from the sub-continent. The desperation of waiting longer sometimes results in them seeking a paid donation in their home country.
To address the issue MOHAN USA (a charity with 501 C status in the USA) in association with American Society of Transplant (AST), organized a focussed conference in Seattle on 2nd of June 2018 with the theme ‘Strategies to Increase Awareness and Organ Donation Rates Amongst Minorities.’ The meeting was moderated by Dr. Anil Chandraker, Past President of the AST.
MOHAN Foundation in India through the placement of trained transplant coordinators in government hospitals in three states - Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Rajasthan has shown that the consent rate of a potential brain-dead donor to be over 65% when the family is supported in their decision to donate by a trained coordinator. Similar conversion rate has also been seen across the country in many other programs where their trained coordinators have been employed by various hsians represent 5.1% of the population while 2.5% of the population are Black and 3.2% are from other minority ethnic groups. At the end of the 2017/18 financial year, 35% of the total number of patients on the waiting list for a kidney transplant were from BAME group, reflecting a demand for kidney transplantation in excess of that for White patients. There are currently 6,871 people on the transplant list, including 1071British Asian people. Recent data from 2017-18 show that only about 40% of such eligible donors from BAME support organ donation compared with about 70% from the whites (1)
The keynote speaker at the Seattle meeting Dr. Clive Callendar from Howard University, Washington, DC, USA has championed organ donation amongst the African American community in the USA. He established the ‘Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program’(MOTTEP) and over the last two decades the organisation has been responsible for the increase in the donor registration and currently the UNOS data shows that the rate of donation among blacks is either comparable to white population or better than most ethnic groups. Dr. Callendar in his address stressed the need for public engagement and creating community awareness at the grassroot level (2). This strategy helped improve the rate of donation among the black population and it has risen over the last decade.
MOHAN USA is hoping to make a difference and improve the rate of donation among the Asian Indians in the USA. Dr. Anirban Bose, the president of the group has drawn up a plan to address the issue. Similar efforts are being made in the UK through the MoU signed between MOHAN India and National Health Services Blood and Transplant services of the UK.
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- Keywords: Improving Organ Donation, Asian Indians, Kidney Transplant, Increase Awareness and Organ Donation, Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Program