NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) and MOHAN Foundation have signed an important Memorandum of Understanding, agreeing to learn from each other and work together to improve the organ donation rate in both countries. The agreement was signed by representatives of both organisations on February 26, 2015 at the House of Lords in London, UK.
MOHAN Foundation will work with NHSBT to help improve organ donation rates among Asian, Black and Minority Ethnic communities in the UK. These communities have a higher incidence of diabetes, heart and kidney disease that often result in organ failure and require a lifesaving transplant. There are currently 6,871 people on the transplant list, including 1071 British Asian people. The NHSBT in turn will help MOHAN Foundation with their expertise to help improve organ donation rates in India.
Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive of NHS Blood and Transplant said, “We were honoured to be approached by the MOHAN Foundation and delighted to share our experience and expertise with them to help to achieve their goals to increase organ donation and transplantation activity in India. In the UK, sadly, families from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups are less likely to agree to organ donation going ahead. All organs are matched by blood group and some also by tissue type so patients from the same ethnic group are more likely to be a close match, patients from these communities often wait longer for a transplant. We hope to learn from the MOHAN Foundation about how we can raise awareness of organ donation among the British Asian community and make sure all patients get the transplant operations they need.”
Sunil Shroff, Managing Trustee of MOHAN Foundation quoted Mother Teresa – ‘I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.’ He added that the MoU would pave the way for increasing organ donation rates in both countries.
During the event a first-of-its-kind in the world "Organ Donor Optimization" mobile app was launched for intensive care units. This app will help new transplant programmes in optimizing potential organ donors who are brain dead and where the relatives have agreed to donate their organs. The app was developed by Dr. N. Sridhar, Former NHSBT Regional Lead for Organ Donation, Midlands, UK and presently Senior ICU consultant in Kauvery Hospital, Chennai, India in partnership with MOHAN Foundation and Medindia.net and is available for Android phones and Apple iPhones.
The event at the House of Lords at which the Memorandum of Understanding was signed was hosted by Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, President of the British Medical Association. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive of NHSBT and Sunil Shroff, Managing Trustee of the MOHAN Foundation.
Some of the other dignitaries present on the occasion were Prof. James Neuberger, Associate Medical Director for Organ Donation and Transplantation, NHSBT, Dr. S V Sharma, Deputy Lieutenant West Midlands, Chair, Promoting Organ Donation (POD),UK and Chair of the MoU Steering/Implementation Group, and Mr. Mohan Mahal of MOHAN-USA.
About NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), UK
NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is a joint England and Wales Special Health Authority. Its remit includes the provision of a reliable, efficient supply of blood and associated services to the NHS in England and North Wales. It is also the organ donor organisation for the UK and is responsible for matching and allocating donated organs, The NHS Organ Donor Register records the details of people who have registered their wishes to donate organs and/or tissue after their death for transplantation. This information is used by authorized medical staff to establish whether a person wanted to donate. There are currently around 10,000 people in the UK in need of an organ transplant. This figure changes constantly though as people join and leave the transplant list.