MREH 200 - Celebrating 200 Years of Excellence

Dr.Agimol Pradeep has won
‘Nurse of the Year 2015’ award

Dr.Agimol Pradeep has won the coveted British Journal of Nursing’s ‘Nurse of the Year 2015’ award in London on March 20. She has not only made substantial contribution in the field of organ and stem cell donation among the South Asian community in North West England but is determined to spread this message across the country.

This highly prestigious Nurse of the Year Award is presented to an individual who has made an outstanding achievement in nursing this year.

The 39 year old, from Kingsway in Manchester has presented her pioneering findings in many European conference and MDT meetings besides appearing in BBC, ITV and many Asian print media outlets. Not one to rest on her laurels, she is currently a lead organ donor campaigner for Manchester based Upahaar, a charitable organisation which she helped found.

Before pursuing a PhD to help increase organ donation and cadaver organ retrieval, she enrolled herself to do a BSc and MSc Nursing while in full time employment with Manchester University Hospitals. Her impeccable work secured her first place in her post graduate degree from the University of Salford subsequently leading to a grant from the British Renal Society for her PhD work.

Agimol describes her work as; overarching aim is to increase the number of registered organ donors and number of potential donors generally and specifically from South Asian community. When we look in the history of organ donation and transplant data in the UK it is evident that there is huge disparity between the Asian donor and recipient ratio. In 2013-2014, there were 1039 patients from Asian background waiting for kidney transplant but during that period we had only 35 donors from all over the UK. To understand this issue in detail I did a questionnaire with 907 South Asian participants based in the North West of the UK to get the feedback and was amazed at the result. There were lot of myths out their how the healthcare professionals or the NHS deal with patients and families in the stage of organ donation and how the process actually done. Some of these myths were enough to put these people down. And it was because of lack of understanding particularly with Asian community there is language barriers, cultural and religious barriers made difficult for health care professionals to approach.

People tempt to have very strong views about this so initially we targeted those who have not formed an opinion yet or in the dark about of whole process of organ donation.


British Journal of Nursing Awards

The British Journal of Nursing acknowledges the enormous contribution individual nurses make towards the development of the profession as a whole. National professional awards such as these, not only shine a light where it is most deserved, they also raise the profile and understanding of how nursing is at the centre of all patient care.

Agimol Pradeep achieved phenomenal results in three years, recruiting over 2800 South Asian people to register as organ donors and educating the community, to save the lives and increase the number of South Asian people receiving a kidney transplant. Her success was due to her resilience, persistence and passion towards organ donation; and because as a nurse she showed respect and compassion for other people’s views throughout, not preaching but educating and providing information to influence perspectives and behaviour. South Asian people in the North West knew little about organ donation, Agimol attended over 289 community events offering peer education, not working alone, she gained the co-operation of key people, political and community figures, religious leaders to influence the power of the message and gain the trust of the people. She worked hard to disseminate the severity and susceptibility of South Asian people to chronic kidney disease, to help them better understand the scarcity of organs and the need for an ethnic match, facilitating better transplant outcomes. The most powerful message, that by donating their organs they were directly helping people within their own community. Agimolbrought together religious scholars and medical staff to discuss organ transplantation and allay fears of religious uncertainty and organ donation, a national religious faith group has now formed to develop clearer guidance for people of the Muslim faith. Agimol was voted Best Nurse of the year (2013) by British Malayali for her health education campaigns to the South Asian community and invited speaker in India National Nursing Conference to inspire other Indian nurses, she is indeed an inspiration. She established regional and national networks and partnership working throughout the project, leaving champions within the communities, and is now seeking funding to sustain the work to use these established channels to deliver targeted health messages.


Further reading

Q&A with Ajimol

Ajimol's Campaign