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Increasing awareness about organ donation in the South Asian community and reducing treatment costs

Agimol Pradeep, Transplant Recipient Co-ordinator, Central Manchester Hospital

Agimol's case study was completed in December 2015 and reflects 2015 prices

The risk of developing Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is up to four times higher in Asian men and women than in the white population. This rises to eight times higher in elderly Asians. Despite Asian men and women representing 15% of those on the transplant waiting list, they account for less than 2% of people on the Organ Donation Register (ODR). In her recently completed doctoral studies, Transplant Co-ordinator Dr Agimol Pradeep found that awareness of the ODR in the South Asian community was very low, and attitudes towards the register were influenced by common misconceptions.

Dr Pradeep identified a need for education to increase knowledge and awareness about organ donation and to clarify misconceptions. Over a 24 month period she organised and delivered in a voluntary capacity over 300 sessions in the North West of England, and as a result, more than 3,000 South Asian people registered on the ODR, a 37.5% increase in registrants from the period 1999-2012.

Dr Pradeep completed an economic assessment to inform the commissioning of education programmes at a regional level that would focus on reaching young people within the South Asian community. Whilst any one donor may donate up to 9 organs, Dr Pradeep demonstrated that the costs of taking four patients off dialysis (two donors providing four kidneys) would more than cover the costs of a regionally based specialist nurse-led community education programme.  In addition to the costs avoided from stopping dialysis, she also noted further economic benefits: more people could benefit from other organs from these donors; there would be a greater potential of organ recipients contributing to the economy; her research had shown that community education increased the potential for live donations and had a wider impact on the health of the community.

You can contact Agimol by email: agimolpradeep@gmail.com.

Case study

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