Wall Street Journal Profiles Efforts To Increase African-American Organ Donation
The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday examined efforts to increase awareness of the disproportionate number of African Americans on the organ transplant waiting list. African Americans, who account for about 12% of the U.S. population, comprise more than 25% of the list of people waiting for organ transplants, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. African Americans also have higher risks for some diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, that could lead to the need for an organ transplant, the Journal reports.
On Nov. 14, about 12 transplant surgeons in 14 cities spoke to African-American church congregations about the need for organ donors. The program -- sponsored by Links, a national organization for African-American women, and the drug company Roche -- provided church members with brochures and luggage tags with facts about organ donation. According to the Journal, "the donor and recipient matching process is blind to race," and "surgeons say a larger pool of donors, regardless of race, should increase the odds that an African American who is waiting for a transplant will receive one" (Windham, Wall Street Journal, 11/24).