COLUMBIA, SC – Donate Life South Carolina (DLSC) and Sharing Hope SC celebrate National Minority Donor Awareness Week (NMDAW) from August 1-7, 2017. Launched in 1996, NMDAW was created to increase awareness of the need for more organ, eye, and tissue donors from ethnically diverse communities. Since the inception of NMDAW, great strides have been made in terms of the significant increase of multicultural organ, eye, and tissue deceased donors. However, the percentage of patients being added to the national transplant list continues to surpass the percentage of ethnically diverse donors.
Ethnic minorities are facing a public health crisis and are in desperate need of more organ, eye and tissue donors. Many of the conditions leading to the need for a transplant – such as diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure) – occur with greater frequency among minority populations. Diabetes and high blood pressure account for more than 70% of kidney failure in African Americans.
Approximately 116,000 people are currently on the national transplant waiting list. Over 1,000 are on the South Carolina waiting list. African Americans account for approximately 30% of those waiting nationally. That percentage more than doubles in South Carolina as 63% of those in need of a transplant are African American.
Individuals can now register to be an organ, eye and tissue donor in just a few moments at DonateLifeSC.org as well as through the Medical Tab on the Health app on iPhones.