In response to the publication of 'A review into black, Asian, mixed race and minority ethnic blood, stem cell and organ donation', Henny Braund, Chief Executive of blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan, says:
'Anthony Nolan was very pleased to contribute to the report and offer our full support as attention turns to securing the successful implementation of the review’s recommendations.
'Despite an increase in the number of people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds joining the stem cell donor register, the fact remains that only 20% of patients from these backgrounds, who need a transplant, receive the best possible match, compared to 69% of white northern European patients.
'Anthony Nolan has the ambitious target of recruiting 100,000 potential donors a year by 2020, of whom 20,000 are from minority ethnic backgrounds.
Young people & education
'Anthony Nolan exclusively recruits people aged 16 to 30 because our research shows younger donors are associated with better survival rates, so we are delighted to see such a strong emphasis on young people and education in the review.
'We have had great success working with schools, colleges and universities across the UK through our Marrow and The Hero Project programmes – so particularly welcome calls for information about stem cell donation to be integrated into the national curriculum.
National & international support
'It is also good to see the review highlight the importance of international collaboration. We know that, while increasing the number of stem cell donors from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds within the UK is incredibly important, this approach alone will not be enough to meet the needs of patients.
'More needs to be done to develop and grow stem cell donor registers in regions such as Africa and South Asia, and we hope that the Department of Health and Social Care accept the review’s recommendation to expand its support for projects that work with international donor banks.'