More than 450 members of the Jain community attended an event organised to spread awareness about the upcoming change in law on organ donation in England.

The event, held on June 9 at the Navnat Centre in Hayes, was organised by the Vanik Council UK with support from NHS Blood and Transplant. The chief guest was Lord Jitesh Gadhia, a passionate supporter of organ donation who helped establish the Jain and Hindu Organ donation group.

The families of five people who donated their organs or tissue after death, as well as six living kidney donors were honoured at the meeting by the Vanik Council.

Manharbhai Mehta, chairman of the Vanik Council, welcomed the change in law on organ donation and said “it will provide us with more opportunities to encourage Jains to register on the NHS Organ Donor Register and save lives.”

There is a desperate need for more organ donors from the Jain community in the UK. In March 2018, there were 959 Asians were waiting for an organ transplant, mainly kidneys. In 2017/18, there were only 106 organ donors from the Asian community; 37 donors after death and 69 living kidney donors

Andrea Ttofa from NHS Blood and Transplant said the event provided people with an opportunity to find out more about organ donation and the choices available to them.

“It is so important for people to keep talking about organ donation and sharing their decision with their families and our thanks go out to everyone who are setting up events like this to enable people to come together and have the conversation,” said Ttofa.

Kirit Modi, Chair of the JHOD steering group said: “I am delighted to support this amazing event organised by the Vanik Council UK. Our message is simple. Please register your decision about organ donation; please talk to your family members about your decision and most importantly, please help save lives.”

For more information about the change in the law around organ donation in England and for information on the Jain perspective on organ donation, visit:www.organdonation.nhs.uk.