World Health Day 2015
The Prophet, peace be upon him, said “whoever relieves a believer’s suffering in this world, Allah will relieve a suffering of his in the Hereafter”. (Muslim)
Preventing illness can be as simple as soap and clean water or a mosquito net to protect children from malaria. These items don’t seem luxurious but the impact they have is enormous. Good health is about more than just medicine and treatment; it includes all areas of life – that’s why we train communities on diet and health practices, and provide school meals to prevent child malnutrition. Once people have become ill however, what they need is healthcare – and this is often severely lacking in poor countries.
Here are some of our best health projects around the world:
1. Supporting widowed women in Pakistan
In a two year project in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Islamic Relief have served women in the area with children enrolled on our orphan sponsorship scheme – families who rely on the regular stipend they receive in order to provide for their children.
Around 1,200 women were given free health screening, which was also provided to orphaned children sponsored by Islamic Relief as well as their siblings. Around 1,800 children were screened. Almost 160 people were referred to a private hospital, with costs covered for treatment and follow-on care for a range of conditions including heart disease, diabetes and brain tumours.
Our mobile medical clinics, which operated four days a week in local communities, provided primary healthcare to 2,616 poor people – mostly women and children – treating ailments such as skin infections, typhoid, and minor injuries. About 80 people were referred to a diagnostic centre, and those diagnosed with serious illnesses such as tuberculosis went on to receive treatment at specialist facilities.
In total, some 7,086 families benefited from the project.
2. Supporting health centres in Somalia
More than 38,000 people have benefited from an Islamic Relief healthcare project delivered in Banadir, Somalia.
Drought, famine and conflict have forced an estimated 1.5 million people from their homes across Somalia. Tens of thousands are now living in camps around Mogadishu, capital of the Banadir region, a city to which many have returned as security improves.
Islamic Relief has been providing primary healthcare services through a range of projects in the region. Our life-saving work included the construction of two health centres and the supply of equipment and an ambulance in 2013.
As well as improving maternal and neonatal health, the scheme delivered community health education and information across the region. Covering topics from HIV and AIDS to breastfeeding, family planning, cholera and malaria; our basic health and hygiene messages reached about 30,000 people.
3. Better health and nutrition in rural Kenya
Tens of thousands of vulnerable women and children are benefitting from a much-needed Islamic Relief Kenya project. The project serves remote communities in Mandera and Wajir counties, where rates of poverty and malnutrition are high and many families are without access to even basic healthcare.