The goals of the Minority Awareness Initiative are to:
- Raise awareness about the urgent need for organ donation in minority communities
- Encourage informed family discussions regarding organ donation
- Promote healthy lifestyles and behaviors including disease prevention and control in order to decrease the number and rate of African-Americans needing organ transplants.
Recent data shows that nationally minorities represent:
- 52% of the transplant waiting list
- 38% of deceased donors
- 61% of the kidney transplant waiting list
In Louisiana African-Americans represent:
- 33% of the total population
- 59% of the transplant waiting list
- 72% of the kidney transplant waiting list
These statistics are significant, especially because of the need to match antigens in kidney transplants. This is best achieved by matching race and ethnicity between donors and recipients. Kidney transplant recipients are less likely to reject a kidney donated by someone of their own race.
Because of the shortage of minority organ donors, African-Americans wait 2-4 times longer than non-African-Americans for a life-saving organ transplant.
It is essential for the Foundation to continue its aggressive targeted campaign to increase donation in the African-American community.