Established actor, Wil Johnson has joined forces with NHS Blood and Transplant to lend further support to a new campaign designed to increase the number of people from BME communities on the NHS Organ Donor Register.
The actor features alongside patients with first-hand experience of organ donation and transplantation to create a series of powerful and informative television commercials for both the African-Caribbean and the South Asian community. In his capacity as campaign ambassador, Wil highlights the key facts and statistics surrounding organ donation within the Asian and Black communities, whilst the patients bring these statistics to life through their own personal experiences.
Best known for his role in ‘Waking the Dead’, Wil Johnson says: “I strongly believe that more people from our community need to join the organ donor register. It is a campaign which needs to be acknowledged by everyone, which is why I was very keen to help raise awareness in our community and feature in the television commercials.”
The television commercials also showcase real life case studies that have been affected by organ donation, both successful transplant patients and those still waiting for a life-changing transplant.
44 year old, Taibat Bello has been waiting for a kidney transplant since 2005 Taibat is very passionate about promoting organ donation within her community. Speaking about the commercial she says, “I feel that if the education about organ donation was improved for the Black and South Asian communities then people might be more willing to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register. We need to overcome the misconceptions and myths surrounding the issue of organ donation. If we address people’s fears we can increase the number of organs available for transplantation.’
The campaign highlights that people from the South Asian and Black communities living in the UK are three times more likely to need a kidney transplant but just 0.4% of people who have joined the NHS Organ Donor Register are from the Black community. Due to the shortage of compatible donors, South Asian and Black patients on average have to wait nearly twice as long as a white person for an organ to become available.
Make sure you look out for these television commercials which will be airing from Monday 8th March.