A research report from the University of Central Lancashire (funded by the Department of Health) has praised the Peer Educator approach developed by Kidney Research UK. The report sought “to identify effective interventions to increase organ donor registration and improve knowledge about organ donation among ethnic minorities in North America and the UK”. The review considered 18 educational and mass media interventions. It stated that Kidney Reseach UK’s approach was “highly ‘suitable for purpose’ as it increases numbers of those from BAME communities registering as organ donors. This evaluation would argue it is critical that Peer Educators continue to attend these types of local and national events, and in greater numbers.”
The Peer Educator approach teaches members of the public of the need for and processes involved with organ donation, and gives suggestions on ways to engage with local communities and dispel any fears or taboos. Peer Educators will then talk to others on a one-to-one basis, and sometimes in groups, to sow the seeds of the information learnt from the Kidney Research UK team. A project in North West saw over 500 people signing up to the NHS Organ Donor Register.
Kidney Research UK also received 2 accolades at the Association of Medical Research Charities Awards 2011 for this work, for engaging with and increasing BAME communities’ awareness and registration onto the NHS Organ Donor Register.
The project has received further funding from the Department of Health Transplant Policy Team for a bespoke 2 year project in Birmingham focusing on the Pakistani Muslim community addressing organ, blood and bone marrow donation. The Scottish Government has also commissioned a 2 year Peer Educator led organ donation project with South Asian communities in the West of Scotland.
- What are effective approaches to increasing rates of organ donor registration among ethnic minority populations: a systematic review