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40,000 black blood donors needed to help save lives

15 October 2019

The Mayor of Brent, Councillor Ernest Ezeajughi, donated more than just time in his latest bid to encourage Brent residents to help save lives.

Rolling up his sleeve during Black History Month, Councillor Ezeajughi donated blood to show his support for the Sickle Cell Society’s campaign to get more people from black communities to register to donate blood.

Sickle cell is the most common and fastest growing genetic disorder in the UK and predominantly affects people from African and Caribbean backgrounds. Many of the 15,000 people living with the disease rely on frequent blood transfusions.

Sickle cell can cause extreme pain, life-threatening infections and other complications such as organ failure, stroke or loss of vision. Regular blood transfusions help to prevent or relieve the painful symptoms and complications.

People from black African, black Caribbean and mixed heritage backgrounds are more likely to have the rare Ro blood subtype that is vital for sickle cell patients.

The NHS needs around 40,000 new black blood donors to register, to help provide blood for the thousands of people with sickle cell who need regular transfusions.

The Mayor of Brent said:

“I chose the Sickle Cell Society as one of my mayoral charities as they do amazing work supporting people who live with sickle cell. 

“I’m passionate about doing as much as I can to encourage all those who are able to, to donate blood. 

“Brent is an extremely diverse borough and there is likely to be a large number of people who live with sickle cell, or who know people who do.

“So I am asking all the residents in the borough, especially those with African or Caribbean heritage, to do something amazing for their community, and register to give blood.”

Professor Dame Elizabeth Anionwu, Patron of the Sickle Cell Society said: “There is a need for more black people to come and donate blood.

“The impact of that blood for those affected by sickle cell is absolutely incredible.”