The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) invited TB HIV Care (represented by Gareth Lowndes and an HTS team) to join them on Thursday, 01 November for a formal meeting. The meeting took place at the MJC headquarters in Athlone. Gareth was welcomed by MJC President, SH Irafaan Abrahams, the first and second Deputy Presidents, and was also introduced to their Executive Committee.
Gareth was taken aback by the welcome he received from the MJC, “Rarely have I received such a warm, authentic, genuine welcome at a community launch. Everyone was incredibly respectful and inclusive.”
The MJC is offering access to 250 – 300 mosques within the Western Cape for health-related services, including TB, HIV, non- communicable diseases, VMMC (via Jhpiego) and prostate cancer.
November is Men’s Health Awareness Month. The meeting was held on 01 November in order to launch Men’s Health Month by bringing increased awareness to men’s health issues. The MJC realise that they can play an important role in healthcare, including HIV testing and promoting voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC).
The MJC raised the concern that their men are not accessing health services as much as they should. They hope that in Men’s Health Awareness Month, with the help of TB HIV Care’s roving teams, they can promote more uptake of health services.
The MJC are encouraging their leaders and their executive team to get tested in order for the community to follow. Their call to action was heeded, as community members arrived to get screened for TB.
Gareth described this meeting as a significant moment, “This a landmark moment in terms of providing regular health services to the Muslim community.”
Gareth foresees that this is just the start of what will be a long and solid partnership with the MJC.
Islamic TV (ITV) were present on the day and the event was featured on DSTV Channel 347 later that night.