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Religious leaders help promote organ donation

FAITH LEADERS from different religions recently came together to promote organ donation.

Leaders representing Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Christianity and Sikhism participated in a panel discussion about the issue at the UK’s fi rst national Organ Donation Congress held by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT). They also helped launch NHSBT’s new religious belief leaflets.

Sally Johnson, NHSBT’s Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation, said: “It is hoped this event will help develop the relationship and links between faith leaders and NHSBT, and assist in dispelling any myths and concerns that people in these communities may have.

”She added: “We are grateful to the faith leaders for their time and input into developing the new leaflets, which we hope will help to inform and reassure religious communities that all the major religions agree to organ donation. We hope to see more people sign up to the Organ Donor Register as a result, so that more lives can be saved.”

Currently, only 0.4 percent of people on the organ donor register are black, yet they are three times more likely to need a transplant because they are more likely to develop conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, which can lead to kidney failure or heart disease.

Finding a match can take longer, and people from these communities on average wait a third longer than others for a transplant.

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