UK Imams Urged to Spread Kidney Donor Message at Mosques

LONDON – In an event to encourage kidney donations for ethnic minorities in the UK, a panel of experts has met religious leaders, including the imams of East London Mosque,  East London Advertiser reported on February 25.

“People may not know that poorly managed diabetes can often lead to kidney failure so we’re urging people to start these conversations with their families,” Tower Hamlets mayor, John Biggs said during the event.

The Egyptian kidney treatment expert and cardiothoracic surgeon Professor Magdi Yacoub, in addition to Dr. Ismail Mohamed, a consultant transplant surgeon at the Royal London Hospital, and lecturer of Islamic studies Dr. Mansur Ali of Cardiff University in Wales explained to the imams the great need for these donors.

Patients from ethnic minorities in Britain face waiting eight to 12 months longer for a kidney transplant compared to white patients who form the majority of the UK’s population.

This delay is due to the lack of genetically-suitable donors of similar ethnic genetic markers putting them at an increased risk of dying.

The drive was launched in light of the current need for quick kidney transplants in east London for no less than 300 adults from Asian, African and several other minority ethnic backgrounds.

The project which involves volunteers spreading the message was launched in the borough after a similar scheme elsewhere saw 3,000 more donors sign up with the National Health Service (NHS) in Britain.

Why Matters Crucially?

Kidney transplantation saves the lives of patients with end-stage renal disease. Kidney transplantation is typically classified as deceased-donor (formerly known as cadaveric) or living-donor transplantation depending on the source of the donor organ.

Living-donor renal transplants are further characterized as genetically related (living-related) or non-related (living-unrelated) transplants, depending on whether a biological including ethnic relationship exists between the donor and recipient.

In general, the donor and recipient should be blood group and crossmatch compatible. The ultimate goal of matching a donor kidney with the person seeking transplantation is the identification of an organ that will be tolerated indefinitely by the body of the recipient (who takes medications to prevent rejection).

It’s helpful to divide donor and recipient matching into three distinct areas: blood type matching, tissue type matching and crossmatching. Each is a distinct and important aspect of donor and recipient matching for which specific, complex laboratory tests have evolved.