Guardian newspaper highlights findings of Better Health briefing paper 23
Posted on Thu 21 Jul 2011
'In a recent paper, Gurch Randhawa, professor of diversity in public health and director at the institute of health at the University of Bedfordshire, found that minority ethnic groups are disproportionately affected by demand for transplants compared to the white population as a result of genetic predisposition and increased prevalence of underlying conditions.
His research, published last week by the Race Equality Foundation to coincide with National Transplant Week, also concluded that those in the BME community were prevented from joining the register due to religious and cultural factors that meant they did not think they were permitted to donate. Common fears included thinking that cremation would be delayed and that doctors wouldn't work as hard to cure an illness for someone registered for organ donation.
"Much like other countries which are far more successful than us, we've got to find a way of proactively addressing these concerns with the public," says Dr Randhawa.
He says the key is making sure that people in BME groups are fully informed. That doesn't mean throwing leaflets and DVDs at them either, he says, but speaking to people face to face. Funded by the Department of Health as part of the organ donation task force delivery board, Randhawa has attended events around the country and recently joined religious gatherings in Neasden and Chigwell to talk to Hindu and Sikh communities.
"Where it works best is when you've got the community on their terms in their environment," he says. "If they then want to get faith based advice, it's far better that those people are in the room when you're giving them that information so that they can be part of the dialogue." '
Taken from 'Transplanting a culture of organ donation', Guardian Professional, 12th July 2011.
To read the full article, visit the Guardian website.