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Christian kidney donor says churches should address fear, as Black donor numbers hit five-year low

by Tola Mbakwe

Figures recently published by NHS Blood and Transplant showed in 2016-17:

o Only 17 people from the community came forward to save a life through donating their kidney: the lowest number in 5 years.
o African Caribbean patients who needed a kidney waited, on average, over one year longer than white patients.
o Just 24% of African Caribbean patients received a kidney transplant, meaning over 600 people remained in need at the end of the year.
o Over 250 died while waiting for a donor.

Nina Greywoode is a Christian and donated her kidney in 2014 to a young girl and told Premier what churches can do to help.

She said: "Churches need to help to remove the fear.

"If we believe in our heavenly father then we should not fear death.

"Don't get me wrong, the chances of you dying from giving a kidney is slim to none but because this fear of anaesthetic, the fear of going under the knife, they're reluctant to do it."

The African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT) launched a new campaign on Tuesday in response to research findings.

It said the findings show that there is a large amount of scepticism and lack of trust in the NHS amongst the African Caribbean community in relation to organ donation.

ACLT has called on people from the African Caribbean community to get in touch with them to express their interest in becoming a living organ donor.

The charity will also speak to each potential donor to ensure they are fully informed and guided through the process.

Greywoode added: "Saving someone's life is probably the most important thing you can do.

"All it's going to cost you is a couple of weeks off of work.

"You can live perfectly well without your kidney. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, it's so fulfilling knowing you've helped somebody to enable them to live their life. "

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