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Good health is a crown that only the sick can see. (Saying attributed to Ali ibn Abi Talib r.a.)
Good health is the most powerful tool we have for moving forward with our aspirations. It is much too easy to forget how vital good health is for communities to be able to prosper. Being free from sickness and disease allows children to attend school, learn and grow into educated strong adults.
With medical care, a country's workforce is strengthened as adults are fit, healthy and strong enough to work full and productive days. If the main breadwinner has to stay at home with illness, they are not able to earn to provide for their families. Not only does the family fall into financial hardship, but work is left undone and the economy slows down and suffers.
Poor health holds communities back and, in many cases, causes them to stay trapped in the cycle of poverty.
That is why we at Muslim Hands believe good health should be treated as one of the biggest priorities for the world's poor. The sad reality, however, is that affordable and effective health care is an elusive hope in many parts of the world.
Even where health services are available, they are often dilapidated and lacking the resources to cater for the community's needs. This means illnesses are prolonged, infections are not contained and many preventable diseases become a cause of long-term illness and often, death.
Muslim Hands run projects to address the most prevalent and widespread diseases. Many of the biggest killers are also those which are easily treated with targeted medical care.
Read about how we're taking action for one of the biggest preventable causes of death amongst women in Sri Lanka here: Maternal health for Hifla.
Muslim Hands takes a number of approaches to addressing healthcare needs around the world.
The needs for various communities are varied and it is important that those afflicted with poor health are given access to the kind of care which addresses their unique needs.
To address the diverse approaches to healthcare, we work in the following ways:
Infant Mortality Reduction
The programme assists expectant mothers throughout their pregnancy and childbirth to ensure safe deliveries and good health for both mother and child.
HIV & AIDS prevention
Our desperately needed HIV and AIDS prevention programme provides screening, spot checks and education to prevent HIV and AIDS spreading. We run this throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and in rural India.
Cholera and malaria
As one of the most infectious diseases in the world, we provide hygiene equipment to disinfect communal areas and prevent the spread of this killer disease. MH teams also distribute medicines to treat the symptoms, safe drinking water to prevent water-borne infections and training to raise awareness on how to best protect against the danger of cholera.
Our medical teams provide life-saving vaccinations to protect against polio and other major killer diseases like tuberculosis and measles. For those already affected, we send surgeons to perform reconstructive surgery for deformed limbs. Patients are also given physiotherapy and long-term advice on how to remain active and mobile.
Cleft lip and palette
A group of specialist plastic surgeons set up mobile clinics where those with a cleft-lip and palette can have this facial defect corrected. So far, hundreds of operations have been carried out in Pakistan and throughout rural China.
Cataract removal surgery
MH sends a travelling clinic with doctors to perform cataract removal and develop sight to the partially sighted and blind. Patients are treated free of charge to have their vision restored, alhamdulillah.
We run awareness campaigns to highlight ways people can protect themselves from common illnesses and diseases.
Muslim Hands mobilises communities to use their knowledge, skills and resources to reverse the devastating impact of life-threatening diseases. These include workshops and training sessions on the best way to prevent and contain water-borne infections as well as the spread of contagious diseases.
Hospitals and clinics
Our hospitals and clinics provide checkups, treatment and long-term care for patients. We provide a range of services to meet the varying needs of different communities from building smaller field hospitals in Kosovo to much needed maternity clinics in Afghanistan and free medical dispensaries in Bangladesh.
Mobile clinics and ambulances
Muslim Hands provides ambulances to transport the sick and injured to care in times of emergencies or when facilities are limited. Mobile clinics with doctors also travel to inaccessible areas to perform checkups or sometimes even minor surgery like cataract removal.
adults are suffering with HIV & AIDS. 68% of these live in Africa
of malaria deaths occur in children under 5 years
is the life expectancy in Swaziland. In Japan it is 82.6 years
Some countries suffer from crippling high infant mortality rates, whilst others struggle to control outbreaks of fatal water-borne diseases. Look on to see how MH run projects to support good health and wellbeing on a global scale.
A picture paints a thousand words...and sometimes even more.
Here is a brief glimpse of our health projects for impoverished communities around the world.