National Minority Donor Awareness Week was created to increase awareness about organ donation, especially among minorities and observed annually in August.
Coordinating with National Minority Donor Awareness Day, the observance takes place the first week in August. Within the African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Native American and Pacific Islander-American communities, there is a serious shortage of transplants. Minorities make up 57% of those on the organ waiting list.
Due to chronic conditions, minority patients are at an increased need for transplants affecting the heart, kidney, pancreas, and liver. National Minority Donor Awareness Week promotes awareness for healthy living habits and disease prevention to decrease the need for transplantation.
Transplant facilities take into consideration several factors when matching donors to recipients. Blood type is the most critical component; ethnic similarities often have similar blood types increasing success rates when paired between members of the same ethnic/racial group.
It’s necessary to know organ donation isn’t based on race or ethnicity. Anyone can donate because all organs can save a life.
“This special observance honors minorities who have been donors, and encourages others to register as donors as organ, eye and tissue donors. In addition, this observance also encourages the public to take better care of their health in order to reduce the number of people needing a transplant.” ~Donor Alliance website
There are several places you can go to learn more about organ donation. You can start by checking the donor option on your next drivers license test. websites like organdonor.gov provide excellent information to common questions asked about organ donation. Your family doctor can also provide useful information if you prefer to seek medical advice. Organ donations is free to the donor.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Help spread the word about the importance of organ donation in your community. Use #NationalMinorityDonorAwarenessWeek and #DonationIsColorBlind in social media.