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Call for more organ donors in Watford
2:20pm Friday 22nd March 2013 in News
Members of the Pakistani community in Watford came together on Tuesday to hear how to improve organ donation rates among them.
The meeting at North Watford mosque was attended by 40 men, women and young people from the community.
Dr Mujid Mukadam, a transplant surgeon from Birmingham, explained at length the stark difference in the numbers of donations in the black and minority ethnic (BME) communities compared to the need for organs.
He said that because the tissue match is greater within the same genetic groups, more organs are desperately needed from these communities.
At present only two per cent of those who have signed the Organ Donor Register are from the BME groups while the number of people waiting for a transplant from BME communities is 25 per cent of the total.
He said the mismatch resulted in unnecessary deaths.
Dr Mukadam acknowledged that there were conflicting interpretations of what the Koran says about donating organs but he advocated the view that says “if you save one life, you save mankind.” He said that was a crucial tenet of Islam.
Dr Nasrin Razzaq, a GP, also said South Asian communities need to look after themselves through more exercise, a better diet and regular check ups with GPs for high blood pressure and diabetes.
Former headteacher at Chater Infant School, Meena Modi, shared her story as a kidney donor to her husband Kirit and Zahida Udin explained how her life had changed for the worse since she started dialysis.
The event was jointly organised by the organ donation committee, Watford General Hospital, and Lister Kidney Foundation.