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Sewa Day blood donation drive

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SEWA DAY: Donors at the last Sewa Day National Blood Donation Drive in Preston

SEWA DAY: Donors at the last Sewa Day National Blood Donation Drive in Preston

 

Bradford charity launch campaign to encourage Asian blood and organ donors

Did you know, that around 14% of the population of England are black or South Asian but less than 3% of people who have given blood in the last twelve months are from these communities.

Now a Bradford-based charity is on a relentless mission to change the lack of Asian blood donors and has partnered up with NHS Blood & Transplant services for ‘Sewa Day.’

Coming together to raise awareness of the shortage of Asian blood types donating blood, they hope to encourage more people to get involved taking up regular donation when possible.

The number of patients from South Asian communities on the transplant waiting list are exceptionally high, yet are hugely under-represented on NHS Organ Donor Register.

Speaking to Asian Express, Theo Clarke, National BAME (Black, Asian, Minority, Ethnic) Manager at NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We are very grateful that Sewa Day is working with us to help save more lives.

“South Asian patients wait longer than white patients for transplants as there are not enough suitable organs available.

“By joining the NHS Organ Donor Register and sharing your decision with your families you could save up to nine lives, if you are able to donate after your death. By becoming a blood donor, you can save up to three lives every time you donate.”

In the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit, Sewa means selfless service and on Sewa Day  individuals, voluntary groups, schools, and companies are encouraged to commit their time to doing a good deed with an aim of making a positive difference to someone else’s happiness, quality of life and prosperity.

Bharat Vadukul, Sewa Day Chairman told Asian Express: “When people from South Asian communities find out they may have rare blood and tissue types, I’m sure they will want to do everything they can to help save lives.

“There are many South Asian people who actively donate blood but we need more. I urge people to find out if they can donate blood, register online at www.organdonation.nhs.uk and to join the NHS Organ Donor Register. One day it could be someone you love who needs an organ transplant or a blood transfusion.”

In order to give people more information Sewa Day are running two Donor Drive events happening soon, the first on 30th March and then a second event on 30th April.


Sewa Day Donor Drive

30th March at the Bradford Blood donor Centre 11 Rawson Street, Bradford BD1 3SH

30th April at Shelf Village Hall, HX3 7NT

You can also join the NHS Organ Donor Register or become a new blood donor by calling 0300 123 23 23.


 

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Blood brothers: Rare blood disease is conquered through one sibling’s selfless act

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BRAVE: The Patel brothers have been incredibly brave and now Yahya (on the right) has a better quality of life

BRAVE: The Patel brothers have been incredibly brave and now Yahya (on the right) has a better quality of life

An 11-year-old from Bolton has been hailed a ‘hero’ by his father after successfully donating his bone marrow to his younger brother.

Yahya Patel, six, returned home from hospital this week after many months of recovery at the Royal Manchester Children’s Surgery.

The brave youngster was born with a rare condition called Diamond Blackfan Anaemia - which meant his bone marrow fails to make enough red blood cells.

A transplant was the only solution to improve his quality of life.

The brothers’ father, Zayd, said: “We tried a few other treatments like steroids which worked for a little while, but then Yahya’s body stopped producing that.

“We decided to go down the bone marrow transplant route. My wife and I were tested but we weren’t a match.

“Our eldest son, Abdullah, was a 100 per cent match. We’d been discussing it for a few years. It’s a daunting thing to undergo a bone marrow transplant and watching your child go through chemotherapy. It had to be his decision.”

After a successful transplant, Yahya is now recovering with his family at their Great Lever home and even managed to attend the end of term party at his school, Pikes Lane Primary in Deane.

However, to be a donor is not a painless process, and Zayd said that Abdullah had to undergo a psychological evaluation in order to make an informed decision.

Zayd said: “I was immensely proud of him. It’s such a selfless thing to do. Abdullah’s a bright kid so we discussed it with him last year and told him the options.

“We couldn’t force it on him, it’d be totally unfair. He read all about it and researched about transplants and he came to his own decision that it was something that he wanted to do.”

HERO: Abdullah (on the left) has made his father ‘incredibly proud’ after becoming a bone marrow donor for his brother

HERO: Abdullah (on the left) has made his father ‘incredibly proud’ after becoming a bone marrow donor for his brother

Yahya has now been home for two months and is ‘doing well’ - whilst Abudllah has made a full recovery from his own operation.

“The transplant is working perfectly at the moment,” Zayd said, “even though it could go wrong at any time. We don’t like to think like that though, we’re remaining positive.”

He added: “Yahya still has a tube in his nose because he doesn’t eat as much as he should be doing. However, the transplant will allow him to lead a normal life, there will be less hospital visits and he won’t need blood transfusions.”

The family are now raising money for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital to say thank you to the ‘fantastic’ team for the treatment and care they have given to Yahya.

The youngster’s parents are also huge supporters of The Diamond Blackfan Anaemia Charity, which supports families of children with the rare illness.

Zayd added: “It made a big difference to us to speak to families who have gone through the same experience. The support we received from the group and the hospital was fantastic.”

To support the family’s fundraising drive visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Yahyasbmtjourney

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Young donors needed: Muslim initiative to give blood sees successful turnout

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SUCCESSFUL INITIATIVE: (Left to right) Ehsan Rangiha, Chairman, Islamic Unity Society; Aimen Al Diwani, Coordinator, Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign; Darren Bowen, Head of Region at NHS Blood and Transplant; Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant

SUCCESSFUL INITIATIVE: (Left to right) Ehsan Rangiha, Chairman, Islamic Unity Society; Aimen Al Diwani, Coordinator, Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign; Darren Bowen, Head of Region at NHS Blood and Transplant; Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant

British Muslims across London joined others on 11th July to give blood under the Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign (IHBDC) - the largest Muslim initiative of its kind in the UK.

The event, held at the Islamic Centre of England in Maida Vale, marked the 10th anniversary of the campaign and the launch of an official partnership between the IHBDC and NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT).

NHSBT needs just under 200,000 new donors to attend a session to give blood this year and there is a particular need to attract more younger donors - from 17 years old - and people from South Asian, Arab and black communities.

In general, as long as you are fit and healthy, weigh over 7 stone 12 lbs (50kg) and are aged between 17 and 66 (up to 70 if you have given blood before) you should be able to give blood. If you are over 70, you need to have given blood in the last two years to continue donating.

Currently, only one per cent of people who have given blood in England in the last 12 months have come from black communities and only two per cent come from South Asian or mixed race communities. Less than one per cent are from the Arab community.

People from South Asian, Arab and black communities are more likely to have rarer blood types and conditions, like Thalassaemia or Sickle Cell Disease respectively, which require regular blood transfusions.

People who require regular blood transfusions need blood from donors with a similar ethnic background to provide the best match and better outcomes in the long term.  

In 2015 alone, the IHBDC delivered over 48 dedicated blood donation drives, resulting in the collection of almost 600 units of blood.

GIVING BLOOD: (Left to right) Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, Ehsan Rangiha, Chairman, Islamic Unity Society

GIVING BLOOD: (Left to right) Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, Ehsan Rangiha, Chairman, Islamic Unity Society

As each unit of blood collected has the potential to save or improve up to three lives, in total the donors could have saved or improved the lives of up to 1,800 people in just one year of the 10 year campaign.

Commenting on the achievement, Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation at NHSBT said: “The Islamic Unity Society has done a magnificent job helping us to raise awareness of blood donation. Working together we have recruited hundreds of new donors and we look forward to this partnership continuing to grow. We urgently need more donors from black and South Asian communities and would encourage anyone considering blood donation to book an appointment and help save lives.”

Growing year on year, the campaign which began as a single drive in Manchester, now collects blood up and down the UK, throughout the year, with the help of a network of volunteers made up predominantly of students and young professionals.  

Ehsan Rangiha, IUS Chairman added: “The Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign has been doing a fantastic job over the past ten years, during which it has saved many lives.

“The initiative is inspired by the teachings of Islam which dignifies and honours human life, and commands Muslims to do everything to respect and preserve it.

“The NHSBT has been instrumental in giving us the platform to carry out this important work, and this official partnership further strengthens our commitment to supporting blood donation in the UK.

“Finally, I would like to thank Islamic Centre of England for hosting today’s blood drive, and all of those involved from both organisations for their tireless efforts to improve and save the lives of others.

To find out more and book an appointment visit www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23

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