In a remarkable first, a mosque has transformed itself into a community health centre for the area’s poor.
The Masjid-e-Ishaq – a mosque in the Nawab Saheb Kunta district of Hyderabad – is opening up a thousand square feet of space on its ground floor to offer medical treatment to an estimated 1.5 lakh people. Many of the patients are slum dwellers.
Fully credentialed medical professionals will staff the centre, including doctors and paramedics. They will offer a range of services such as diagnostics, emergency treatment, maternal care, and physiotherapy. It will also manage referral links to state hospitals.
The initiative is a joint venture between the mosque’s committee and the Helping Hand Foundation, a non-government organisation based in the city. Mujtaba Hasan Askari of the Helping Hand Foundation has expressed hopes of establishing similar centres in other mosques. “There are several masjids which are spacious and willing to provide space for such a facility,” he told Telangana Today.
Askari says that the initiative has received a positive response thus far. Forty to fifty people are accessing healthcare at the centre every day, he told Times Now.
He added that the initiative would help many patients who could not afford to travel to government hospitals. While free medical procedures are available at many government-run hospitals, their lack of reach and inadequate infrastructure means that many individuals simply do not have access to them. This often leads to private sector treatment becoming a necessity, driving many into poverty through out-of-pocket medical expenditure.
Maulana Faiq Khan, Khatib of the Masjid-e-Ishaq, emphasised that treatment will be available to everyone, no matter their religion. “We are glad that Allah’s house is being used for a good cause, regardless of religion or faith,” he said.