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Bowling an organ donor drive
Scotland’s international cricket team are urging more people from Scotland’s South Asian communities to join the NHS Organ Donor Register.
The Scottish Government has joined forces with Cricket Scotland to have an Organ Donation team on hand to promote the Register at their two One Day International fixtures with Pakistan this weekend (Friday May 17 and Sunday May 19).
It comes as latest figures show that just over 1 per cent of Scots registered are from black, asian and minority ethnic backgrounds. Yet those from these communities are three to four times more likely to need a kidney transplant due to being more prone to developing diabetes or high blood pressure.
As a result they are also likely to wait nearly twice as long as a white person for a kidney to become available as donated organs need to be carefully matched to ensure blood and tissue groups are compatible.
The likelihood of a close match being found and the transplant being successful is increased if the patient is from the same ethnic group.
Michael Matheson, Minister for Public Health said:
“While Scotland has the highest proportion of any UK country's population on the NHS Organ Donor Register, it is a stark fact that just over 1 per cent of those are from black, asian and minority ethnic communities.
“We know that organ donation is often a taboo subject within these communities, with many misconceptions surrounding the issue. That is why we must educate more people about donation and explain that there's no reason not to join the Register.
“Working with Cricket Scotland is a perfect opportunity for us to speak to cricket fans and hopefully increase the number of potential compatible donors for patients from ethnic minority backgrounds.
“I would urge everyone, no matter what their background, to take the time to think about organ donation and consider joining the NHS Organ Donor Register.
“Organ donation can save lives – but only if a match is available.”
Roddy Smith, CEO of Cricket Scotland said:
“Cricket Scotland are delighted to support this excellent initiative to encourage more people to join the organ donor register. As a truly multicultural sport, Cricket Scotland is committed to work closely with the Scottish Asian community. We hope that by being part of raising awareness on the issue that more people sign-up to be organ donors and ultimately help save lives.”
Around 25% of people on the UK organ donor waiting list are from a black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) community.
The number of people on the NHS Organ Donor Register in Scotland has also reached a record high of more than two million. This is 41.1 per cent of the population – the highest of any UK country as the UK average is 31 per cent.
Join the NHS Organ Donor Register by visiting www.organdonationscotland.org or by texting LIFE to 61611. In order to ensure your wishes are respected, let your loved ones know your wishes.
More information on BAME organ donation and transplantation is available at www.organdonationscotland.org/faqs-and-common-myths/organ-donation-and-religion