Tonight I will be on BBC WM Chatback, talking about the sperm bank and the shortage of especially African and Caribbean donors.
As always I was asked beforehand why the shortage in ethnic minorities is much greater and, as always, I don’t know the answer. I wish we knew as that allows us, and anyone else dealing with all sorts of donation, to deal with it.
We know there’s the overall answer – lack of awareness – but there’s more to it. Some of the Asian shortage is because of religious beliefs but we know that’s not the case with the Afro and Caribbean community.
We don’t know the true statistics with egg- and sperm donation so I’m using the ones from Anthony Nolan, the blood cancer charity and bone marrow register.
Right now, white Europeans have a 90% chance of finding a matching donor, while ethnic minorities have just 40% chance.
With a more diverse register of donors, we can help to address this imbalance and work to ensure that nobody dies waiting for lifesaving stem cells, no matter who they are.
Can anyone shine some light on this? Why do Afro and Caribbean don’t come forward to donate either blood, bone marrow or indeed their sperm for their own community? More importantly, how can we address this?