National Multicultural Donor Awareness Month Shines Spotlight on Multicultural Donation Disparities
LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (August 3, 2023) – Throughout August, Arkansas’ largest organ and tissue recovery agency, ARORA, is celebrating National Multicultural Donor Awareness Month (NMDAM) to increase understanding of the particular need for registration and donation in minority communities.
“NMDAM is a time to shine a spotlight on the discrepancies that people of color face when they are placed on the transplant waitlist,” ARORA Communications Director Audrey Coleman said. “There are more than 300 Arkansans and 100,000 Americans waiting for a life-saving transplant.”
In 2023, ARORA is focusing outreach on increasing the number of registered donors in Arkansas. Of the more than 100,000 people awaiting a life-saving organ transplant, nearly 60% are from multicultural communities. The need for organ donation and transplantation is also more pronounced in minority communities where disproportionately higher rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease contribute to organ failure, especially kidney failure.
People of color face a greater risk of needing an organ transplant due to the gap in available donors. While organ recipients are not determined by race, compatible blood types and tissue markers are critical qualities for donor-recipient matching, and are more likely to be found within members of the same ethnic group.
NMDAM was founded in 1996 by the National Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program (MOTTEP), to bring heightened awareness to donation and transplantation in multicultural communities – focusing primarily on African American, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander and Native American communities.
“On average, African American/Black transplant candidates wait longer than non-Black candidates for kidney, heart, and lung transplants,” said Michael Scott, ARORA Communication Manager. “These healthcare disparities reinforce the need for National Multicultural Donor Awareness Month education and outreach to help heal and save lives in our communities.”
ARORA encourages people to recognize NMDAM by registering as an organ and tissue donor to help increase the chances of organ recovery in your community. Many Arkansans are aware that they can register to become an organ donor when renewing their driver’s licenses at the DMV. A trip to the DMV doesn’t happen every day of course, so it’s worth noting that it’s equally fast and easy to register online at www.donatelifearkansas.org. Also, ARORA has introduced donor registration kiosks around the state to make registration even faster. To learn more, log onto ARORA’s website at www.arora.org/kiosk.
For more information on ARORA and organ and tissue donation, go to www.arora.org or follow ARORA on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and TikTok..
FACTS & STATISTICS
- Roughly 300 Arkansans are on the transplant waiting list
- 64% of eligible Arkansas residents are registered as organ donors, the 16th highest registration rate in the nation
- In 2022, 236 people are awaiting a transplant in Arkansas (105 Black, 87 white, 13 Hispanic)
- 2021: 250 total transplants were done for Arkansans, including 120 white, 91 Black, 14 Hispanic
- Of the more than 100,000 people awaiting a life-saving organ transplant, nearly 60% are from multicultural communities.
- Another person is added to the nation’s organ transplant waiting list every 10 minutes.
- 7,000 people die annually (on average 20 people each day — almost one person each hour) because the organs they need are not donated in time.
- African Americans are three times more likely than white Americans to have kidney failure.
- Hispanics are one and a half times more likely than non-Hispanics to have kidney failure.
- One organ donor can save up to eight lives.
ARORA was established in 1987 as a nonprofit, independent organ procurement agency. Serving 64 counties across the state, ARORA is headquartered in Little Rock and has a satellite office in northwest Arkansas. ARORA’s mission is to restore lives through the recovery of organs and tissues for transplant. For more information, visit www.arora.org.