Campaign to increase organ donations

District Chronicles

Dr. Callender has long championed building awareness of the need for minority organ donation.

WASHINGTON - Coming to a close, Howard University Hospital has been recognizing National Minority Donor Awareness Week with public health activities this week. Building awareness of the pressing need for minority organ donation has long been championed by Howard University surgeon and medical professor Dr. Clive O. Callender.

First recognized by President Bill Clinton in 1996 and launched by the National Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program (MOTTEP), National Minority Donor Awareness Week, was created to draw attention to the need for donation and transplantation in multicultural communities and honor minority groups. The mission of MOTTEP is to specifically educate ethnic minority Americans about the need for organ, tissue and blood donation.

MOTTEP and Howard University Hospital kicked off recognition of Minority Donation Awareness Week with an information station and general health screenings (blood pressure/glucose) at Whole Foods Market and Health Fair and St. Elizabeth’s East Gateway Pavilion last weekend.

More than a third of the over 121,000 people waiting for a transplant are African Americans. Minorities disproportionately need organ transplants, however, more minority organ/tissue donation is needed, said Dr. Callender, who founded National Minority Donor Awareness Day, which, because of the pressing need for minority organ donors is now observed for a week, Aug. 1-8. Continue reading