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NHS joins Black History month celebration

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The NHS has launched a new website dedicated to putting the spotlight on black health heroes as part of the UK-wide Black History month.

As part of the celebration to mark the contribution to UK society of African and Caribbean communities across the UK, the NHS website highlights the work that individuals have done to improve the health and lives of others.

The NHS website also contains information on conditions that are more prevalent among the black population.

Some of the staff to feature on the site include Dr Tunji Lasoye, an A&E consultant and surgeon in an inner city hospital, and nursing trailblazer Nola Ishmael OBE.

It also includes a profile on Rudolph Isaacs, a rare-type blood donor whose donations are especially vital to people who suffer with sickle cell anaemia.

Dr Comfort Momoh MBE, recently awarded for her work in the field of Female Genital Mutilation, said: “I don’t consider myself a health hero, just a woman angered by the significant number of girls subjected to female genital mutilation and then faced with the difficult prospect of giving birth a few years down the line.

“However, It’s really encouraging to see the number of people of African and Caribbean heritage making strides within health and the recognition given by www.nhs.uk.”

According to statistics from NHS Information, the number of BME (black and minority ethnic) NHS staff is on the rise. Between 1999 and 2009 there has been an 11% increase of BME staff bringing the total to 41% BME last year.

Barry Mussenden OBE, deputy director for equality and partnerships at the Department of Health, said: “Black and minority ethnic people have contributed greatly to the NHS for over 60 years since the Windrush era, this recognition by NHS Choices shows the appreciation to all those inspirational health heroes throughout the UK.”

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