November News & Views

Firstly this month, an article by Dr. Goleen Samari (University of Texas) published in the American Journal of Public Health summarises the effects of Islamophobia on the health of the growing population of Muslim Americans. Islamophobia invariably brings about stigma and discrimination of Muslims, with adverse effects on physical and mental health as a result of Islamophobia’s interference with individual, interpersonal and structural systems of Muslims and the Muslim community.

As in the United States, the racial makeup of Muslims in the UK is largely South Asian and Middle Eastern, but Dr. Samari argues that “pathogenic conditions of Islamophobia have to be understood across racial groups”. Dr. Samari concludes by calling for more qualitative research into the impact of Islamophobia on Muslims, more importantly at the structural system level.

Read the article “Islamophobia and Public Health in the United Stateshere

 

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The Open Society Justice Initiative has issued a report titled Eroding Trust: the UK’s Prevent Counter-Extremism Strategy in Health and Education, which criticises the Government’s Prevent strategy that is now applied in healthcare settings. The report also analyses the disruptions to provider-patient relationships using two health-related case studies: one involving a patient quizzed about his political views and affiliations by his GP, and the second involving a nurse called in for a ‘Human Resources’ meeting after regularly wearing a hijab at work.

Read the report and executive summary here

 

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And finally this month, a touching narrative by Dr. Raya Kheirbek published in the journal Academic Medicine reminding us of the importance of understanding our patients’ different belief systems.

Read “Behind the Veilhere

 

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We are always looking for relevant articles and news to include in our monthly newsletter. Please send any items to [email protected]

Action Centred Leadership Report

Our East Midlands region hosted a very well received course on 8th October. Participants received 5 CPD points, accredited by the RCP. It was conducted by Dr Hussain Nagi, a consultant anaesthetist and Adair International trainer.

Testimonial from attendee:

‘I thoroughly enjoyed this highly interactive course, full of insightful leadership tips. I particularly lived how the speaker brought in examples from the leadership of the Prophet Muhammad (saw). This course was relevant to both clinical leadership and leadership in the voluntary sector. I highly recommend the course to every Muslim healthcare professional as we all have leadership roles at some point. The course fee was a bargain too!’

BIMA National Conference 2017 Announcement

BIMA is excited to announce its 2-day national conference for all Muslim healthcare professionals in the UK, the first of its kind in the UK, due to be held from 18-19 March 2017 at the prestigious Kings College London.

The conference aims to:

  • Celebrate the achievements of the Muslim healthcare professions in the UK
  • Explore challenging issues relating to medical ethics and professional development
  • Inspire delegates to aspire for excellence in their careers
  • Reflect on the rich heritage of Islamic medical history, while maintaining an underlying ethos of Islamic learning and academic discovery
  • Provide ample opportunity for professional networking amongst delegates

LifeSavers 2016 Report

By the grace of Allah, the united effort of 500+ healthcare professionals and with the support of mosques across the country, BIMA LifeSavers 2016 was a monumental success.

This month we saw 35 mosques open their doors to more than 1000 members of the British public who simultaneously received training in basic life support. Supported by the British Heart Foundation and the Muslim Council of Britain, the sessions were very well received by the locals and mosque committees alike, with many centres offering the course in multiple languages.

We had a press release and substantial coverage in the community thanks to the MCB. Read the press release here: www.mcb.org.uk/mosques-across-the-country-open-doors-for-life-saving-training

BIMA at Living Islam 2016

A team of nearly 30 volunteer healthcare professionals and students were at the Living Islam Festival in Lincolnshire, attended by thousands of Muslims from across the country. BIMA volunteers performed hundreds of free health checks for festival attendees. Our thanks to the Islamic Society of Britain for hosting the biennial festival. See you in 2018!

Check out the video we made of the work we did at the festival:

 

Ramadan Reflections Podcasts

We would like to take this opportunity to offer our prayers for your and family to have a blessed Ramadan. Our days will be long and challenging, especially to those who are busy working this summer.

We have put together a series of reflections on Ramadan as working healthcare professionals. These audio clips are short and a great way to use your “lunch” breaks this month, and we pray you find them beneficial.

 

BIMA LifeSavers 2016

What do people do when they witness a cardiac arrest?

Nothing. At least that’s the case in 7 out of 10 cases.

Because half of cardiac arrests, where the heart stops beating, that are outside a hospital are witnessed by a member of the public. Every minute following a cardiac arrest without CPR, the chances of survival drop by 10%.

And with effective CPR? Your chances of survival can be quadrupled. Wouldn’t you want your community, your friends, and your families, to know these vital skills for when the need arises?

Interested? Then sign up to BIMA LifeSavers today: a one day annual event where volunteers deliver life-saving training to the British public in over 20 mosques across the UK.

Email [email protected] to be part of a project that will help save lives.

BIMA Innovations Group

The BIMA Innovations Group (BIG) is looking for enthusiastic individuals who want to get involved in a startup enterprise with like-minded healthcare professionals. BIG is a platform linking entrepreneurial and creative people, centred on hands-on implementation.

We are calling for submissions for ideas in the following domains:
– Technology based solutions to assist education and training in healthcare
– Service based solutions to provide access to healthcare in the community
– Developing adaptations to the workplace environment to assist Muslim healthcare staff in practice of their faith

Experience is not a prerequisite, and we aim to provide access to support, resources and contacts to help you. So if you have an idea you want to take further, or want experience working in a startup environment, visit our website: www.bimainnovationsgroup.co.uk

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Event: Lesvos Relief – East Midlands

Join us on Thursday 31st March for a dinner in Lincoln to hear Dr. Awad, a Consultant Anaesthetist, who will be speaking about her 2 weeks in Lesvos doing medical relief with Syrian refugees. Good opportunity to network with other BIMA members in the area.

Venue: Taste of Marrakech, Newland, LN1 1YA
Time: 6:45pm
Cost: £9.95 incl. dinner

Email [email protected] for more information

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Statement on Dr Rogozov and blog post comments

Whilst all details on the incident, which occurred in 2013 and investigations are still ongoing, are unclear, the British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) is deeply concerned about some of the comments made in the blog, and the subsequent reporting on the place of Muslim attire in theatres.

Patient safety is at the heart of NHS care provision. Muslim healthcare professionals who wear the headscarf or ‘hijab’, like all others in healthcare, are adherent to infection control policies. Non-compliance with these policies is unsafe and harms patients. Many NHS trusts have championed workforce equality and inclusiveness by offering sterile theatre headgear for Muslim staff members to practise safely.

Discrimination on the basis of religious or cultural beliefs violates basic tenets of NHS care and good medical practice. There is no excuse for Islamophobic behaviour and comments by patients or colleagues, and we expect the regulatory bodies to take appropriate action should any issues come to light.

Furthermore, the statement from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals states headscarves may not be worn in operating theatres due to the possible risk of infection. On the contrary, NHS Trusts are obliged to meet the reasonable needs of employees. We urge Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to reconsider their position and make their workplace more accessible for their Muslim staff.

Event: Muslim Women Excelling in Islam and Medicine 2016

We’ve got 20 high performing senior Muslim women in academia, education, management, policy and many other fields attending this event.

Don’t miss out on a fantastic opportunity to reshape your career and be the next generation of Muslim Women Excelling In Islam and Medicine.

Buy your tickets here: bit.ly/mweim2016

One year On

Dear Brothers and sisters in Islam.

Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullah It is my pleasure to write to you on the first anniversary of the founding of the British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA).

Whatever we achieved in this year has only been possible with the help and Blessings of Allah SWT, and all shortcomings were entirely due to us mortals. Our journey began with hopes and ambitions of uniting British Muslim doctors and healthcare professionals by putting in place a grassroots organisation that is committed to the principles of character building, professional development and service to mankind. This we hoped to do for only one objective: seeking the pleasure of Allah SWT.

Our journey began with hopes and ambitions of uniting British Muslim doctors and healthcare professionals by putting in place a grassroots organisation that is committed to the principles of characterbuilding, professional development and service to mankind. This we hoped to dofor only one objective: seeking the pleasure of Allah SWT.

Looking back over the first year of BIMA, we have made significant progress in laying the foundation. We had our sights set high but we kept our feet to the ground. Majority of the work has happened in the background and as a result we now have an organisational presence and infrastructure in all four countries of UK and in all regions of England.

At the same time we have stepped out into the public and participated in the debates around the issues that were concerning the community. These ranged from the issue of veil in hospital, to porcine gelatine in vaccines, to issues surrounding voluntary relief work overseas. We have also been working on community health awareness projects and providing support and guidance to our colleagues. Internationally, we have been recognised as an important player and have started playing active role in Federation of Islamic Medical Associations (FIMA).

You will find the detail in the newsletter but the one outcome that has been most rewarding is the increasing sense of brotherhood and sisterhood felt by our members across the UK from Dundee to Plymouth and Newcastle to Cardiff and Belfast.

This, in my own view has been the most valuable achievement of this first year of BIMA. BIMA has emerged as a hope for uniting healthcare professionals on one platform just on the basis of two common factors: being British & Muslim. I am proud to see that our membership database happily shows doctors of all ethnic backgrounds, specialities, grades, women, students, IMGs and UK born and bred graduates have readily joined BIMA.

This has put BIMA in a take-off position. And now we are going to mark the next year as a year of public activities. There are campaigns and projects being planned right now to be rolled out across the UK in the coming year. Please watch this space and get involved if you can.

In the end, on behalf of the whole association and especially the BIMA Council, I would like to thank you all for your continued support.

I pray from Allah SWT that He accepts all our efforts in His Path and forgive us for our shortcomings. May He help us in keeping our intention sincerely for His Pleasure and keep us amongst the people who “Believed and did the righteous deeds, and exhorted each other to follow truth, and exhorted each other to observe patience” (Surah Al-Asr).

May Allah bless us all.

Wassalamu alaikum wa rahmatallah ,

Hammad Lodhi
President BIMA

Statement: Response to BMJ’s ‘Doctors and Islamic State’

Letter to BMJ Editor-in-Chief

The British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) is shocked by the decision of the BMJ Editorial Team to publish the two articles in Duncan Gardham’s work “Doctors and Islamic State”. Gardham focusses on a handful of individuals and attempts to depict British Muslim medical students and physicians as subverters of professional standards and state security, and calls for increased medical regulator surveillance to help minimise this perceived threat.

British Muslim doctors have a proud tradition of humanitarian work in collaboration with many NGOs in war zones across the world. This has received no attention by Gardham, who instead presents a seditious portrayal of dedicated doctors, including the late Dr Abbas Khan who in 2012 was tortured to death in Syrian custody as he helped refugees fleeing the conflict. Gardham offers a cursory mention of his case instead of citing his courage as an example of medical altruism and servitude to humanity. Gardham’s distortion serves only to discourage Muslim doctors from continuing such work, and places unnecessary doubts about the loyalty of professionals serving within our NHS. We defer to the British Medical Association to seek clarification from Gardham for this deplorable stance.

What is particularly bizarre is the choice to publish these features to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the tragic 7/7 London bombings despite the incidents described within the piece, occurring many months ago. To publish at this sensitive time the BMJ has elected to add to widespread anti-Muslim rhetoric and potentially undermine trust within the doctor-patient relationship. Gardham’s piece headlines “British students who have fled to Syria to work while studying in Khartoum (Sudan)”. These individuals may be British citizens but they cannot and should not be described as British students. Gardham’s failure to recognise this distinction seeks to polarise opinion against the majority of law-abiding students in this country.

BIMA calls for the BMJ to redact the feature of all factual inaccuracies and to issue an apology to the doctors and medical students affected by publishing such a biased, insensitive and inaccurate story. BIMA further calls upon the BMJ to offer an opportunity to redress this balance and to celebrate the contribution of Muslim doctors home and abroad. BIMA would be pleased to assist in this endeavour.

Sincerely,
Dr. Hammad Lodhi
President, BIMA


Notes
BIMA is the democratic body for British Muslim healthcare professionals. We aim to improve patient care through pastoral and professional development for its membership. [email protected] / www.BritishIMA.org

The original article can be found here:http://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.h3511, and our response is available online here: http://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.h3511/rr-19

Statement on 2014 Gaza Attacks

The British Islamic Medical Association [1] condemns the attacks on medical facilities and personnel in the Gaza strip. We deplore the killing of patients and staff, and the targeting of ambulances on duty [2]. We urge the British medical community to join us in solidarity.
Innocent civilians in Palestine are bearing the brunt of Israeli aggression with loss of life, limb, livelihood, home, and dignity. Medical supplies are needlessly held at border crossings [3], pharmacy and food stocks are dwindling, basic hygiene is lacking.We welcome and endorse the open letter by eminent medical and humanitarian colleagues in the Lancet [4], calling for an immediate ceasefire and appeal for action. We commend the authors and signatories for upholding our professional ethics and standards in the face of adversity, and applaud their courage.

We are working with British based charities to raise awareness and funds for medical supplies, and encourage all our members to lobby their respective medical. media and political representatives for a more robust response [5].

Notes
[1] The British Islamic Medical Association is the only democratic, independent, not-for-profit, grassroots organisation for Muslim doctors and dentists in the UK. For more information please visit: www.BritishIMA.org or email [email protected][2] Independentwww.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israelgaza-conflict-tanks-shell-gaza-hospital-killing-four-and-wounding-30-medical-staff-as-seven-more-israeli-soldiers-die-9619055.html

[3] UNwww.irinnews.org/report/100344/gaza-running-out-of-medical-supplies-as-israeli-bombing-continues

[4] Please sign the open letter here: www.thelancet.com/gaza-letter-2014

[5] Write to the BMA[email protected]; the BBC:www.bbc.co.uk/complaints; your MPwww.writetothem.com