On Saturday April 12th, 2014, Muslim Family Services, A Division of ICNA Relief USA Programs hosted their 2nd Annual Health Fair in collaboration with a group of local volunteer physicians. The fair took place at the Masjid Al-Falah Gymnasium in Detroit, MI. Five physicians from the physicians group and three health care volunteers from Hamtramck Health Center in Detroit, MI came out to service the community. Some of their specialties included Cardiology, Internal Medicine, Nursing, Family Medicine and more. The fair ran from 9:00-1:00PM. Patients were pre-instructed to come fasting in order to prevent inaccurate test results. Breakfast was served after they finished their assessments.
The providers offered three different health assessment test; blood pressure, blood glucose and Body Mass Index (BMI). None of these tests are diagnostic. All are simply designed to assess general health and allow the Physicians to take the next steps in diagnosis if alarmed by results. Over 85 guests attended the fair from all over the city. Some of the patients were from Bangladesh; an immigrant demographic with little to no access to adequate health care.
Several of the physicians offering assessments at the fair approached MFS organizers about the alarming rate of high blood pressure, hypertension and the risk of diabetes amongst the various demographics in our community. Their concerns were not a surprise because all of the patients at the fair were from low-income households and most do not possess the resources nor the health literacy to check up on these sorts of concerns. As one provider mentioned, ' they just go to the doctor when they feel pain' and for too many people, that is often times too late.
Private Physician consultations by Hamtramck Health Center, as well as referrals were available onsite at the fair. There were many patients whom were referred to Hamtramck Health Center, a location government sponsored clinic that operates on a sliding scale; with the minimum that a patient will pay is $20 per visit. The center does not turn anyone away and will make up for the procedure cost for those with no income. Some patients were even referred to Al Huda Clinic, a free clinic in Detroit, MI.
As Muslims, we have been advised by our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the Sahih Hadith to 'take advantage of our health before our sickness'. Our bodies are a trust given to us and when a person is loaned or gifted something, it is important that they cherish that thing and take excellent care of it because when it is returned, Allah (swt) will ask how it was used and treated. That being said, striving for health and taking excellent care of our bodies can be done to please Allah (swt).
InshAllah, MFS will continue to offer our free health fairs because we know that so many people benefit from it and that these very health fairs many be the catalyst for someone to take steps towards a healthier lifestyle, bi'idhnillah. Muslim Family Services would like to reach out to the community in search of Health Care Providers and Educators willing to help us educate the immigrant and low-income communities about appropriate health care and becoming health literate. If you are a Bengali or Arabic speaking HCP or health educator and are interested in helping us provide health education to the Hamtramck and Detroit Muslim Communities, please contact us at the contact information provided below. We are grateful for all of the volunteers who came out to assist us in this fair. May Allah (swt) reward you all.
Guest at Fair
Assessment Test: BMI, Blood Glucose, Blood Pressure