‘Whoever saves a life, it might be as if he saved the lives of all mankind.’
This translated message from the Qu’ran (5:32) is on a banner that greets guests inside Birmingham’s latest vaccination hub at Inexperienced Lane Masjid and Group Centre, within the coronary heart of Small Heath.
It merges the non secular with the ‘mutual safety’ message that has pushed the vaccination rollout throughout town – emphasising that getting the jab may save your individual life but additionally these of household and neighbours, stated Saleem Ahmed, the mosque’s head of welfare.
Excessive hesitancy charges within the early weeks of the rollout, notably in poorer and ethnically numerous areas like Small Heath, inspired the mosque to supply its group corridor to the NHS as a vax hub, stated Mr Ahmed.
Formally opened final month, a whole lot have since come by the doorways, of all faiths and none, making the most of the centre’s location within the coronary heart of the neighbourhood, with free parking and near retailers.
“It has been actually constructive for us and the group and is a part of our obligation and accountability to the area,” stated Mr Ahmed.
The mosque, one of many metropolis’s largest, has a powerful repute for its community-focussed efforts to enhance the lives of all its residents, Muslims and non alike.
On the day of our go to, the twice weekly foodbank was drawing a crowd of hungry dad and mom, lots of them with children in tow, whereas a foodbank supply service was taking luggage of necessities out to the housebound.
The mosque has additionally coordinated a Covid PPE marketing campaign, a million-mask problem and a blood plasma donation marketing campaign by the pandemic – all whereas providing non secular steering to its worshippers. It additionally supported greater than 100 funerals from its small mortuary.
Small Heath is now seeing vaccination charges rise – although nonetheless under town common charges, it’s faring higher because the centre opened.
The final dependable knowledge for the ward (week ending March 23) reveals an uptake of greater than 70% in all age teams over 65.
The vaccination rollout has now reached carers and the beneath 50s.
Throughout our go to, we met Shiraz Asghar, 33, who’s a carer for his dad and mom so was taking the jab when supplied ‘as a result of it’s the proper factor to do’.
For frontline employee Sameer Hussain, 28, it was important to maintain him and any sufferers and fellow employees secure in his position as a porters supervisor at Birmingham’s Heartlands Hospital.
Junior physician Mehdi Ashayeri is overseeing the vaccination volunteers, some from St John Ambulance, with a plan to coach up sufficient vaccinators to maintain the service this yr.
“We actually need and wish folks to take the vaccines when they’re supplied it,” he stated – and to hunt medical knowledgeable recommendation if they’ve any considerations.
“We’ve got taken many steps with the mosque to ensure the location here meets the community’s needs – for instance, by having multi-lingual data and audio system obtainable, and being obtainable to reply questions in regards to the content material and security of the vaccine.
“Native revered elders had been among the many first to take the vaccine as they wished to encourage others to comply with them, and gave reassurances it was each halal and supported by non secular students.
“We even have privateness cubicles to make sure girls or anybody else who needs to get their jab behind a display can accomplish that.”
He added: “We aren’t simply seeing Muslims right here – it’s a nice location, near the retailers and free parking (Morrison’s grocery store and a string of retailers and eating places are close by, with free parking on the retailers automobile park obtainable).”
Mohammed Saeed, the mosque’s Chair of Trustees, stated on the opening: “We hope that our partnership with the NHS will make the vaccine extra accessible to the aged and susceptible in our group. We see this as an vital protecting step to assist protect human life, which is a core instructing of Islam.”
Non secular leaders have additionally confirmed it’s permissible and secure to take the vaccine throughout Ramadan.
Alison Tonge, the Regional Director chargeable for the rollout of the vaccination programme at NHS England and NHS Enchancment within the Midlands, stated: “We’re delighted to open a brand new pharmacy vaccination web site at Inexperienced Lane Masjid.
“Pharmacists know their communities and they’re taking part in a key position in taking the vaccine out into native areas the place folks can stroll to or discover it simpler to go to. Their native data has proved pivotal in offering a vaccination service in locations the place persons are most snug.
Respected scientific, well being and religion organisations have produced lists of often requested questions in regards to the vaccine rollout, designed to assist reply queries from anybody anxious in regards to the vaccine or anxious about its results.
Please take the time to learn dependable data from trusted sources when making well being selections for you and your households.
Birmingham and Solihull Medical Commissioning Group (CCG): Visit their website dedicated to the vaccine campaign here. It consists of complete data in a spread of languages.
Black Nation and West Birmingham CCG: Visit their website here
British Islamic Medical Affiliation (BIMA): They’ve addressed a collection of frequent questions and myths in simply shared graphics, Visit their website here.
If you wish to ebook a vaccine appointment, go to the NHS vaccines website here.
“We’re very grateful to the leaders at Inexperienced Lane Masjid and Group Centre for making their premises obtainable, and for supporting the initiative so wholeheartedly.
“The vaccines are each secure and efficient, so if anyone who’s eligible however hasn’t been vaccinated but, I’d urge them to go surfing or name 119 and get themselves booked in.”
Head of non secular affairs on the mosque and an imam – and likewise a chaplain on the College of Birmingham – stated it had been a traumatic and troublesome yr for the group.
“All the things we do has been affected by the pandemic. Initially we ensured all the principles had been adhered to, that our group and worshippers had been conscious of the adjustments in how we pray and collect, how we assist one another, ensuring they understood this spiritually in addition to virtually.
“We needed to take every part on-line, from worship to classes, and have since been capable of open up a bit extra, which has been very welcome.
“The mosque is a communal place, the place folks pray but additionally socialise and stay a giant a part of their lives. Staying away was a giant problem, particularly throughout 2020 Ramadan after we couldn’t meet and pray collectively and break quick collectively.
“It was powerful however the best way the group reacted and are following the rules has been so constructive. Individuals perceive that our overriding goal is to protect life.”
The group centre on the mosque is now one of many choices obtainable for individuals who want to book an appointment, which you can do online here.
“As a group we’ve tried to encourage folks to take the vaccine and keep secure.
“There’s a case of individuals being a bit apprehensive. It’s our obligation and position to dispel any myths and share information, that’s extraordinarily vital for us to do.”