The Islamic Medical Association (IMA) Western Cape, as part of its continuous programme for the elderly and communities in need, and the drive for health awareness, undertook a series of activities in recent months. TOUGHEEDA WATSON reports:
Activities of IMA Western Cape
THE Islamic Medical Association is a national non-profit organisation involved with humanitarian development. Some of our recent activities in the Western Cape are outlined below.
Free healthcare screening for elders
We have embarked on a free health screening programme for all pensioners in the disadvantaged areas around Cape Town. Our elders have been very isolated during the pandemic. Many have lost loved ones during this time and have not been able to speak to a professional since. Grandparents have been forced to care for young children due to dire circumstances. Pensioners are battling to make ends meet. We recognised the need and in our small way are taking healthcare to our vulnerable, beloved elders.
Thus far, the communities of Parkwood, Hanover Park, Bonteheuwel and Mitchells Plain have benefitted from this initiative, Alhamdulillah. It is hoped to fervently continue this programme on a monthly basis to reach those most in need, Insha Allah.
Our enthusiastic team of volunteers to date has included medical, pharmacy and physiotherapy and optician students, pharmacists, physiotherapists, general practitioners, dietitians, optometrists and opticians, nurses, paramedics, podiatrists, ENT specialists and admin support, Alhamdulillah.
Blood pressure and glucose tests, body mass index were determined. Chronic medications were reviewed and concerns addressed. Pain management education and therapy were provided by our physiotherapists. Our podiatrist provided superb diabetic foot care as well as removal of callouses. Ears were syringed by the ENT specialists.
A special intervention was required by one patient who arrived at the event with severe dizziness. With limited resources, our ENT specialist was able perform a procedure which provided immediate relief, Alhamdulillah. Eye screening was offered when we had optometrists and opticians onboard. General health concerns and fears were addressed by the GPs and much needed dietary advice was offered by the dietitian.
Feedback from the community has been very positive, Alhamdulillah. We found many who had poorly controlled conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension, and were referred for further management to their local community health centre. The quality of care from the professionals has been lauded with each session, Alhamdulillah.
We invite all healthcare professionals and students to get involved. Any donors willing to provide food parcels or other essentials would also be greatly appreciated. Kindly contact our office for more details on how you could get involved, Insha Allah.
Free breast cancer screening
On October 25, 2022, the Islamic Medical Association once again collaborated with VOC at the Annual Pink Hijab Day breast cancer awareness initiative at Masjidul Quds in Gatesville. This was a much-anticipated event after the lifting of the restrictions imposed by COVID. Women adorned in beautiful shades of pink filled the venue to capacity. The bonds of sisterhood were clearly visible.
Our team of volunteers, including medical and nurse practitioners as well as students, manually screened 165 women – a new record of numbers screened. Of these patients, 21 were referred via an online portal to breast clinics at either Groote Schuur Hospital (GSH) or Mitchells Plain, as well as referrals for mammograms at GSH. Some patients were also referred to their general practitioners to facilitate medical aid referrals for screening mammograms.
During the programme, IMA representative, Dr Ferhardt Yasin delivered a power point presentation on breast cancer awareness and management. He joined Sister Galima Fish Gamieldien, Dr Raeesa Omar and two survivors in an enlightening panel discussion on different aspects of breast cancer.
The IMA received wonderful positive feedback and the ladies expressed much gratitude for the opportunity to be screened.
We are very grateful to all our volunteers for sacrificing their invaluable time in providing such a sterling service with compassion and care. May you all be rewarded abundantly for all your efforts, Insha Allah.
Clinic services in Langa
The IMA runs a primary-care clinic in Zone 11, Langa, every Saturday morning. Women, elders and children are seen at the clinic by our volunteer GPs, pharmacist, nurse and medical students.
Needy patients with renal failure who do not qualify for state support are assisted via the IMA Renal Dialysis Programme. Funds are sorely needed to support patients on our waiting list. Your contribution could help save a life. Please contact Tougheeda Watson at our office for more details on Tel: 021 762 1414/ email: email@example.com
Annual graduation and fundraising dinner
A graduation event is being held in honour of our healthcare graduates across South Africa. All Muslim healthcare students are invited to attend from across institutions in their respective fields of health science. Each graduate is presented with The Oath of a Muslim Healthcare Professional. Family and members of the healthcare fraternity are invited to join. Public support is also welcomed as this event also serves as a fundraiser towards our local projects. This year’s event will be hosted on Wednesday, December 7, 2022, at Islamia College Hall, in Lansdowne.
For more details, contact our office on 021 762 1414 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tougheeda Watson is the Office Manager of the Cape Town branch of the Islamic Medical Association of South Africa.