#LIVEON campaign launch

9 March 2023

A group of doctors from ethnic minority backgrounds (Muslim Doctors Cymru) have come together this World Kidney Day (9 March) to launch a national social media campaign on organ donation, with the aim of raising awareness and improving organ donation rates among ethnic minority communities, in the UK.Still image taken from #LIVEON social media dance video

The team behind the campaign have tapped into the latest Tik Tok dance craze to raise awareness of organ donation and created a video which they hope will spread across social channels. The video features transplant recipients, university students training as healthcare professionals and supportive dance groups.

According to statistics from NHS Blood and Transplant, who are backing the campaign, patients from Black or South Asian backgrounds, are more likely to wait longer for an organ transplant, compared to White patients. Latest figures show that in 2021-22, people of Asian heritage represented 3% of deceased donors but 15% of deceased donor transplants and 18% of the transplant waiting list; while those of Black heritage represented 2% of deceased donors but 9% of deceased donor transplants and 10% of the waiting list, similar figures to the previous year.

In order for an organ transplant to be successful, the tissue type and blood group of the donor must be matched to the transplant recipient. A donor of the same ethnicity is more likely to be a suitable match. While blood relatives may provide a good match for some on the transplant waiting list, this is not always the case and there may be other reasons – such as their own health – why family members are not able to donate.

Imaan's story

Ten year old, Imaan Goheer from London developed kidney failure at age three, requiring dialysis. Both of her parents were tested to see if they could give her a kidney but unfortunately, neither were a match. Therefore, Imaan had to go onto the transplant waiting list. Thankfully at the age of four, she received a kidney from a deceased donor.

Imaan says: "Before my transplant I was very ill. I spent most of my time in hospital. It was a very hard time for me and my family. Having a kidney transplant changed my life for the better. Now I can do normal things, just like normal girls do."

The LIVEON campaign

Funded by Cardiff University, the LIVEON campaign is being led by Dr Bnar Talabani MBE, a nephrology doctor in Cardiff, who has experience in delivering health education campaigns among ethnic minority communities.

Dr Talabani says: "Most of us don’t find ourselves in the privileged position of being able to save a life, but by agreeing to become organ donors, we can all potentially do just that. One person agreeing to donate their organs, can save up to nine lives."

"Among the disparities in health outcomes faced by our communities, this is one we can improve together. All it takes is two minutes to register our support for organ donation on the NHS Organ Donor Register and share our decision with our families."

The #LIVEON campaign will be launched on World Kidney Day on the 9th of March this year and will consist of short videos being released on the NHS Blood and Transplant social media pages from health professionals, patients and faith leaders. The videos will answer common questions and aim to bust myths on organ donation.

Visit our organ donation website to find out more and register your support for organ donation or call 0300 123 23 23.