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Bedfordshire expert to help develop religious and ethnic organ donation programme in Spain

Prof Gurch Randhawa

Thu 20th September, 2018

The University of Bedfordshire’s Professor of Diversity in Public Health has been commissioned to help Spain develop a public engagement programme to encourage organ donation in its different faith and ethnic communities.

Professor Gurch Randhawa, who is also the Director of the University’s Institute for Public Health Research and an expert in organ donation will discuss the impact that immigration in Spain has had on organ donation and transplantation at the launch of the Spanish Faith & Organ Donation project in Barcelona (20 September).

“Spain has the world’s best organ donation figures however they are now experiencing significant numbers of immigrant communities moving to Spain who are not donating their organs. We wish to explore whether there are cultural and religious reasons that could enable organ donation to be discussed more openly.

“As the University is a world leader in public engagement and organ donation research, we have been commissioned to help them with this issue.”

At the Project launch, Organ Donation, a cultural and religious look, Prof Randhawa will showcase the work carried out by the NHS in the UK to encourage organ donation, and detail his experience about the relationship between donation and religion.

“Spain’s population is becoming increasingly diverse and therefore the health needs of the population will change,” said Prof Randhawa.

“The UK is the only European country that collects data relating to ethnicity, so we can at least measure changes in the population and try and accommodate health care needs of different ethnic groups.”

Prof Randhawa will also talk about the research being conducted at the University in delivering equality in organ donation and transplantation in the UK – part of this includes working with faith leaders and communities from Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

“I will explain how and why this approach could help other European countries who will begin to see the same disproportionately greater demand for dialysis and transplantation from their ethnic communities who originate from the Asian and African subcontinent,” said Prof Randhawa.

“I hope our work at the University will serve as a blueprint for Europe in ensuring all communities have access to opportunities for organ donation and transplantation.”

Bedfordshire University

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