HC Deb 19 July 2000 vol 354 c226W
Fiona Mactaggart

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps have been taken to increase the proportion of bone marrow donors of Asian ethnic origin. [129268]

Mr. Denham

The National Blood Service recruits bone marrow donors from existing blood donors and ran a campaign last year to recruit more Asian blood donors. The NBS do not collect data on the ethnic origin of donors, but estimate that 2 per cent. of donors on the British Bone Marrow Donor Registry (which covers England, Scotland and Northern Ireland) are of ethnic origin compared with the United Kingdom ethnic minority population of roughly 7 per cent. Cord blood donation is an alternative to bone marrow donation in the treatment of some illnesses, and information from the NBS's cord blood donation programme indicates that over 40 per cent. of donations are from ethnic minority groups. I have asked the National Blood Service to explore what further steps can be taken to recruit more blood and bone marrow donors from the Asian community.