Community Engagement of Mosques in Health Promotion in Birmingham
PHE ePoster Library. Vaqar M. Sep 12, 2017; 186691; 246
Mr. Mohammed Vaqar
Mr. Mohammed Vaqar
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Abstract IntroductionHealth inequalities exist in Sparkbrook ward areas in Birmingham. The majority of residents in this area identify as being Muslim according to Census data. There is evidence linking faith with health has the potential for positive health outcomes. MethodA collaborative asset-based community pilot project to explore the role of faith institutions as conduits of health improvement incorporating both faith-based and faith-place based health initiatives. This was summarised in a toolkit using a life course approach. A synthesis of epidemiology, national guidance and case study examples from mosques on health promotion are included within the toolkit aimed at faith leaders to support them to promote health and wellbeing in the community. ResultsMosques used faith to embed health initiatives; others brought elements of faith into health and wellbeing activities. Examples included mental health first aid, mindfulness sessions centred around reflection in faith, park walks in between prayers, healthy eating classes for children, encouraging congregants to access local services aimed to improve lifestyle behaviours, mosque job clubs and community allotments. ConclusionLinking faith with health, a range of health and wellbeing initiatives were taking place in mosques. However, most initiatives were one-off events leading to a lack of sustainability. The toolkit is the first step to support mosque communities to address health issues in the community and plan initiatives in a sustainable and structured way. The toolkit (with self-assessment) can be adapted by other communities in other areas to promote linking health and wellbeing with faith to reduce health inequalities.
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