Today, on World Blood Donor Day, 13 MPs attended a Parliamentary awareness event, organised by Sarah Olney MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Ethnicity Transplantation and Transfusion.
The event, held to raise awareness of the need to increase the number of registered blood donors in the UK, particularly from minority ethnic backgrounds, was attended by several existing donors, as well as many Parliamentarians and their staff.
The NHS’s Blood and Transplant division is aiming to recruit 140,000 new blood donors this year, with a target to ensure 12,000 of these are from black, asian, mixed and minority ethnic backgrounds. This is particularly important considering the rise in Sickle Cell disease diagnoses, which now number over 17,500 a year, which primarily affect these communities.
Speaking after the event, Sarah Olney MP said:
“It was fantastic to attend the event today to raise awareness of such an important cause. 18% of the UK population and 34.5% of our students are from ethnic minorities, it’s therefore clear that our National Health Service needs to do more to meet their specific health needs.
In blood transfusion, there are major healthcare disparities for mixed and minority ethnic patients. We must remember that without donors, we can’t make the necessary changes.”
#WorldBloodDonorDay #NothingHappensWithoutADonor #ThankYouDonors
Special thanks to the blood donors who took time out of their busy schedules to attend and speak to MPs about their experiences as blood donors: Gideon, Kishma, Lisa & Leigh, Holly, Brenda and Kate.