Local London Assembly Member Unmesh Desai AM hosted the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) at City Hall as it launched a report on Elderly & End of Life Care for Muslims in the UK.
Mr Desai welcomed the report, underlining the “need to find solutions” to “the stark health inequalities” and the “growing issues of loneliness and social alienation” that the research reveals.
The report, undertaken in conjunction with the University of Cambridge’s Centre of Islamic Studies, seeks to highlight some the specific issues facing the Muslim community in terms of care provision for the elderly and end of life care.
Representatives from the Muslim Council of Britain and the University of Cambridge spoke at the launch to debate the headline findings of the report, including figures that indicate Muslim women over the age of 65 disproportionately suffer from bad or very bad health when compared to the general population.
Other findings also revealed that engagement with elderly Muslims was a low priority for mosques and community centres, alongside wide variations in how effectively local authorities accommodate the religious needs of older people.
From City Hall, the Mayor’s London Health Inequalities Strategy sets out an aim to improve social infrastructure and support faith activities in order to boost the physical and mental health of Londoners and help to strengthen communities.
Speakers at the event included Harun Rashid Khan, secretary general of the MCB and Ehtasham Hoque of the MCB’s research and documentation Committee.
Mr Desai AM, said: “It was an honour to host the MCB for the launch of this significant and timely report. The detailed level of research that has been undertaken represents the wide scope of views of all those involved with elderly and end of life care in the UK’s Muslim community.
“The report’s important findings reveal the stark health inequalities between elderly Muslims and the general population as well as the growing issues of loneliness and social isolation within our communities.
“It is clear that local authorities and care services quickly need to find solutions to these problems and where necessary, refine existing elderly and end of life care practices, to more sensitively accommodate religious beliefs.”