A 'dramatic fall' in number of Asian blood donors is worrying UK health officials
By Barfi Culture Team
13th June 2018

11-year-old Rajie from Hertfordshire is described by his parents as having a big heart and an even bigger smile.

He was on the verge of joining the county cricket team before he was diagnosed with Leukaemia in November last year. It is a type of blood cancer that disrupts the immune system.

A blood match for Rajie has now been found after an extensive social media campaign, but there are many others like him.

5-year-old Kaiya is still looking for a stem cell donor. And now 3-year-old Camllie, of Sri Lankan heritage, is also in desperate need for a blood stem match.

A big problem.

People from black, Asian and minority ethnicity (BAME) backgrounds have just a 21% chance of finding a perfect donor match for a stem cell or bone marrow transplant.

This is because BAME Britons have more rare blood types and are registered in lower numbers for blood donation.

Now, the Labour MP Eleanor Smith has written a letter yesterday to ministers with responsibility for health, saying the government needed to do more.

"I am writing to express my concern about the dramatic fall in the numbers of blood, stem cell and organ donors from BAME communities in England. In blood alone it is estimated that we will need 27,000 new BAME donors in 2018/19 just to keep up with the growing demand."

"I have found that BAME patients make up over a third of those waiting for a kidney transplant and they will on average wait a year longer for a transplant than a white person does."

"Government action can save lives," she added.

It is simple to be a donor and potentially save a life. Registering is free, just fill out a form and provide a saliva sample. And if you’re a match for someone, the donation procedure is usually very similar to giving blood.

How can you help?

1. Anthony Nolan Trust: If you are between 16 - 30 years old – register your details and they will send a swab kit to you in the post.
Tel: 0303 303 0303

2. The NHS: If you are between 17 - 40 years old, the NHS register requires a simple blood test at any NHS Blood donor centre. But you must tell them you wish to join the British Bone Marrow Registry (BBMR) and is a quick way to know if you are a match.
Tel: 0300 123 23 23

3. Register via DKMS - If you are between 17 - 55 years old – you can request a swab test from that link.
Tel: 020 8747 5620

Get our weekly email on the desi diaspora
Barfi Culture is a (recently launched!) news magazine, covering South Asians living in Europe and North America.

»   Balanced news, informative opinions
»   Celebrating our cultures
»   A platform for people

We publish daily. Get our email or find us on social media (tw: news; fb: culture; insta: images).

Find out more | Tell us your story
Barfi Culture is a news-magazine on South Asians in Europe and North America.
(This is what makes us different)

Editorial Policy | Contact Us