Actor Kulvinder Ghir joins forces with transplant patients in new TV campaign to encourage more Asian donors

LOCALS URGED TO SIGN UP TO ORGAN DONOR REGISTER AS THE ASIAN STREET PLAY HITS LEICESTER!

The NHS take to the streets of Leicester this Sunday to call on people to prove their support for organ donation and join the NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR). 
Events including a faith roadshow and street play are part of a UK-wide campaign which aims to close the gap between the number of people who say they’d be willing to accept an organ if they needed one – 96% – and those who have pledged to donate by joining the ODR, currently 27% 
New research from NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) shows a divide between those who think they have already signed up to be an organ donor and those who are actually registered.  
Registration on the ODR is 1.2% amongst South Asian communities and 0.4% in the Black population.  But South Asian and Black people are 3 times more likely than the national average to need a kidney transplant because of increased susceptibility to diabetes and high blood pressure.  This weekend’s events include: 
  • Street Plays will take place every 30 minutes from 11.30am onwards on Sunday 14th March in Highcross Shopping Centre, 5 Shires Lane, Leicester, LE1 4AN. 

 

 Sally Johnson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHSBT, said: “The difference between the percentage of people who believe they are on the Organ Donor Register and the actual proportion indicates that there is some confusion about how to register your wishes about organ donation.
Many people believe that they are signed up to the ODR because they already carry a donor card but the best way to record your wishes is to sign up online or complete an application form and then discuss your decision with those close to you.  “We particularly want more South Asian and Black people to sign up to the ODR.  We know that people from these communities are more likely to need a transplant and that it is more likely to be successful if the donor and recipient are from the same ethnic group.   
“I would encourage anyone who lives in Leicester to come down to our event this weekend and find out more about organ donation.”  
Street Play: NHSBT aims to engage with the South Asian and Black communities through an innovative approach using thought provoking drama and encourage people to join the NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR).  A Street Play has been developed by Black and Asian theatre groups Talawa Arts and Ape Media. 
The Asian version features 'Goodness Gracious Me' star Kulvinder Ghir, who says of the campaign:  “Organ donation is a difficult and often taboo subject within our communities, with a host of misconceptions. Being a part of this campaign and taking messages to the heart of the community is going to be challenging, but if I can change people’s attitudes and get the community to realise the importance of joining the NHS Organ Donor Register then I feel I will have made a difference.” 
Faith RoadshowTalks by health professionals and patients will highlight the issues about organ donation and encourage congregations to joining the NHS Organ Donor Register.
Deloris Newman, whose daughter Shohanna needed a liver transplant at the age of two, says: "Most people are completely unaware that this is the one time when race becomes important. A transplant is likely to be more successful if the donor and recipient are from the same ethnic group, and it's due to the shortage of compatible donors, that South Asian and Black patients have to wait nearly twice as long as a white person for an organ to become available.
We were so lucky with Shohanna and owe our little girl's life to a 12 year old girl and her family's generous gift. I really hope that members of the community realise that they have the power to help others by simply joining the Organ Donor Register."    
If you believe in organ donation, prove it
Register now at organdonation.nhs.uk/roadshow or call 0300 123 23 23 


[1] 1540 interviews carried out in the UK for NHS Blood and Transplant (Synovate 2009)