University of Kent’s ACS to Spearhead Leukeamia and Bone Marrow Campaign at the University of Kent

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By Mary Oshinbolu on 12.2.2024

University of Kent’s ACS to Spearhead Leukeamia and Bone Marrow Campaign at the University of Kent

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From the20th of February to the 2nd of March the University of Kent’sAfrican and Caribbean Society (ACS) will be hosting a bone marrow and leukaemia campaign.

The campaign will be begin with a talk given by the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT) in Eliot lecture theatre 2 on the 20th of February. This talk will start at 6pm and end at 9pm. There will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions and learn invaluable information about bone marrow donation and what the process entails.

On Tuesday the 21st of February, there will be an array of goodies to be sold outside Essentials (next to Elliot) in order to raise money for leukaemia and bone marrow related charities.

The selection of enticing goods found at the stall will include clothing and products from well-known brands such as ASOS, Warehouse, Mango, French Connections and Avon.

All the goods that are to be sold at the stall on this occasion has been kindly donated by their related brands. The stall will open from 11am on the Tuesday and will resume at the same time every day until Thursday the 23rd of February.

After three days of flogging highly sought after goods, the ACS have arranged for speakers from the Anthony Nolan organization give a presentation in Keynes on the 28th of February. Along with this visit with be the provision of information about bone marrow donation. Those who attend will be given the opportunity to register as bone marrow donors.

To end the campaign, the ACS are also hosting The Variety Show at The Attick, from 6.30pm onwards. There will be mixture of acts involved i.e. poets, singers, rappers and even contortionists. The Variety Show will also include a fashion show to help bolster the fundraiser for the selected charities.

The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the heightened barriers faced by those of African and Caribbean decent as well as other ethnic minorities, due to the deficiency in donating enough matching bone marrow and blood.

As it stands, and as stated by Nicole Brown , who is the University of Kent’s ACS treasurer and a member of UoK Amnesty International society, there is a “1 in 100,000 chance of a African/Caribbean individual finding matching bone marrow donor especially if they are not a blood relative.” Nicole also went on to state that,“ for Caucasian counterparts, this number decreases to around 1 in 5.”

Similarly, the NHS states that:

“There are currently thousands of people on the bone marrow register. Before someone can donate their bone marrow, it must closely match that of the person who needs it.This is why it is so important that there are lots of people on the register, including people from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds.

At the moment, certain ethnic communities are under represented on the bone marrow register. This means that it is more difficult to find suitable donors for members of these communities who require a bone marrow transplant. It is estimated that a white person has around a one in two chance of finding a suitable bone marrow donor.”

Already there is a severe issue with the those of African and Caribbean decent, donating blood.

When speaking to Nicole, she further emphasised the strain of this dilemma explaining that, “currently only 0.45% of blood donors are from a Black Minority Ethnic (BAME) background”. This is a major issue as there is a shortage of much needed blood.”

Key Facts

“There are 17.1 million donors in the UK; 0.4% (68,400) are of black minority ethnic background.”

“ The ethnic origin of this receptor is important when matching donors and patients. The ‘markers’ which are tested for in order to decipher whether or not the donor is a suitable are genetically inherited and often unique to a particular race.”

“ This is a why patient in need of a transplant is more likely to discover a suitable donor amongst groups of people who share a similar genetic history with them.”

– Nicole Brown Treasurer for UKC ACS and Member of Amnesty International




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