The Government of Canada recognizes the life-saving impact that living organ donation has on those in need of a transplantation. Unfortunately, access to organ donation is dramatically lower among marginalized communities in Canada, such as South Asian, African, Caribbean and Black (ACB) populations. For example, access to living donor kidney transplantation (LDKT) for these populations is between 50% and 75% lower that the Canadian average.
The Government of Canada believes that all Canadians should have fair and equal access to health care services, including organ donation and transplantation (ODT), that are high-quality, culturally safe and free from racism and discrimination.
That is why, today, during Living Donation Week, the Honourable Mark Holland, Minister of Health, announced key milestones achieved through the Improving Access to LDKT in Ethno-racial Minority Communities in Canada (ACTION) project. The project will help improve equitable access to LDKT for patients with kidney failure from marginalized communities in British Columbia and Ontario.
For many patients, a kidney transplant from a living donor provides better outcomes-longer life expectancy and better quality of life. In marginalized communities, historic and personal experiences with racism and discrimination have a tangible impact on organ donation rates.
With almost $1 million in funding over three years, Providence Healthcare and the University Health Network Centre for Living Donation have developed interventions to address these barriers, including culturally safe and relevant health care tools, and increased community engagement.
- The development of culturally relevant educational materials, such as digital stories, and clinical tools and strategies to support the work of health professionals;
- Sustainable community engagement with the South Asian and ACB communities in Canada;
- A collection of shared patient and community experiences, and other key findings with stakeholders in the ODT community; and,
- Alignment of this project with other ongoing efforts which aim to improve access to LDKT for First Nations, Inuit and Métis populations.
Through this project and others, the Government of Canada will continue to work with key partners to improve our health care system and ensure that Canadians, regardless of their ethnicity or race have timely and fair access to quality ODT services wherever they live across the country.