By Nargis Rahman, TMO
The audience listens to the 2nd lecture in a series at the the womenâ€™s health seminar on breast and cervical cancer.
Photo by Subha Hanif
Hamtramck, Michigan– Bangladeshi Americans for Social Empowerment, a non-profit group in Michigan, will host a health seminar in Hamtramck on osteoporosis in January for minority women.
Project Coordinator, Subha Hanif of Rochester Hills said, the seminars are a continuation of a project started in October for Bangladeshi women. Women from Hamtramck, Detroit, Warren and Sterling Heights in Michigan were invited.
Many of these women are uninsured or do not have a regular doctor, said Hanif, based on women who attended these seminars. The seminars are available to other minority women who may fall into the same categories. Hanif said, â€œItâ€™s not helping in any way if people are not coming.â€
Two seminars have been held in Hamtramck, at Jalalabad (above Aladdin Sweets & CafÃ©), which has the largest population of Bangladeshi Americans in Michigan, roughly three percent of the cityâ€™s total population.
Participant Razia Begum of Detroit said she liked the program. Everyone benefitted from the program by learning about free health care, she said.
Hanif, an undergraduate biology major at Oakland University, who is a Bangladeshi American said she understands the needs and limitations of women from this culture. Women are traditionally shy, â€œovershadowedâ€ by men, and unlikely to ask important questions regarding their health.
The seminars are female-oriented, including the doctors, to form a comfortable no-men environment, said Hanif. â€œIn a room where men are not allowed, women have embraced the freedom [to ask questions].â€
Doctors from Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine spoke at the seminars, which ranged from taking care of your health, to learning how to detect breast and pelvic cancer. Hanif translated in Bangla.
Begum said she looks forward to the next program. â€œI want to go in January to learn about tooth pain and bone problems.â€
Participants can talk one-on-one with doctors after the seminars; something which Hanif said is not always available at free clinics that have limited time slots for patients.
Hanifâ€™s passion to help others comes from her Muslim faith, parental encouragement, interest in public health, and community service. My parents allowed American assimilation, while retaining the Bangladeshi culture, she said. â€œWe were only allowed to speak Bangla at home, which has motivated me to help Bangladeshis.â€
She hopes minority women â€“ who are insured or uninsured – bring their mothers, daughters and neighbors to bond and learn together. â€œThe goal is to make women better agents in taking care of their health and the familyâ€™s,â€ said Hanif.
BASE provides laptops, handouts and materials for the program. Hanifâ€™s dad, Abu Hanif, is on the board of directors.
Flyers will be passed out to businesses in Hamtramck before Januaryâ€™s program.
For more information, contact Subha Hanif by phone at 248-707-9521 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Pictures: Subha Hanif