Free food, games for children, and flu shots were all part of the special health fair hosted last Friday by the Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga.
The health fair, a part of a bigger dream to host a clinic, started after Friday prayer.
Finishing their Jumu`ah prayer, attendants put their shoes back on and streamed into the gym adjacent to the prayer room, dispersing to eat, play, and get shots from health workers with Cherokee Health Systems, Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.
“We want to make it as convenient as possible,” said Amir Al-Bawi, of Knoxville, who organized the fair for the Tennessee-based American Muslim Advisory Council.
Muhammad Devalle of the American Muslim Advisory Council said the health fair was planned to catalyze efforts to establish a free community health clinic at the mosque.
According to Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga, a high rate of Muslim physicians live in Chattanooga.
Board member Dr. Arif Shafi estimates 45-50 doctors out of roughly 1,500 members, a proportion far higher than that of the general public.
He hopes the free clinic would draw largely on this base of health care professionals at the mosque.
“We have a whole spectrum of different medical specialists within the community willing to work,” said Shafi, himself a pediatrician.
This remarkable effort is in line with the consistent efforts of Muslim doctors nationwide to provide free medical care.
Earlier this year, Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Relief NC chapter set up three-day mobile medical clinic organized into five different communities of North Carolina.
This mobile health clinic offered several health screenings to more than 130 low-income individuals in Wake County.
In April 2018, Muslims in Northeast Philadelphia opened a free health clinic to provide health services to the needy.
Elsewhere in South Carolina, the Shifa Clinic has been providing medical help to the needy for years.