KEY POINTS

  • National Minority Donor Awareness Day is observed on Aug. 1
  • It aims to raise awareness on transplantation and donation in multicultural communities
  • Minorities make up more than half of those on the organ transplant waiting list

National Minority Donor Awareness Day highlights the need for organ, eye, and tissue donation among minorities and stresses the importance of healthy living.

National Minority Donor Awareness is observed throughout the month of August, however, National Minority Donor Awareness Day is observed on Aug. 1 annually. Apart from honoring the minorities who have donated their organs, the observation aims to promote a "positive culture" around eye, organ and tissue donations. This includes efforts to educate and raise awareness about organ donation and transplantation in multicultural communities.

"Did you know that African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Asian Americans, Hawaiian Natives/Pacific Islanders, and American Indians/Alaskan Natives make up 60% of all people on the national organ transplant waiting list?" the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) said.

According to the agency, even if transplants can prove successful regardless of the race or ethnic background of the recipient and the donor, there is a "greater chance" of survival in the long term if the recipient and donor's genetic backgrounds are "closely matched."

"(N)early 40,000 people, including over 18,000 racial and ethnic minorities, received the gift of life in 2019, thanks to individuals who said "yes" to organ donation," HRSA said.

But according to HRSA statistics, 106,817 men, women and children are still on the national transplant waiting list. Unfortunately, 17 people die each day waiting for their transplant while another person is added to the transplant waiting list every nine minutes.

The event's goal is also to promote healthy living. By following a healthy lifestyle, people can prevent disease and reduce the need for transplantation altogether.

Ways To Observe National Minority Donor Awareness Day

An important way to observe the event is to educate oneself and perhaps others as well about the life-saving cause and the need for it in multi-cultural communities. One way would be to look into some important facts about organ donation.

People should be well aware of the facts like they can save up to eight lives by donating their organs, and even up to 75 lives by donating their tissues. Donors around the globe are treated with "care, respect and dignity" so they need not worry about organ donation. And while others may believe that rich and famous people tend to get organs faster, HRSA guarantees that "race, income, and celebrity are NEVER considered."

Another way to observe the event is by having family discussions about donor registration.

"Let's diversify the online donor registry together, and prevent conditions that can lead to organ failure by leading a healthy, active lifestyle year-round," HRSA said.

People may sign up or learn more about organ, eye and tissue donation at organdonor.gov.

heart donor dead first organ transplant Heart donation. Photo: wagnercvilela - Pixabay