Dr Zakir Akhunji

The Indian crescent society of Australia (ICSOA) organised its inaugural free community health education seminar on heart disease prevention on Saturday 29 April 2017 at Berala Community Centre in Sydney. 

The event was attended by more than 100 Australians from a diverse background including representatives and office bearers of various community organisations. The member for Granville, Ms Julia Finn, MP was the chief guest at this event.

Mr Fasihuddin Khan, Secretary of ICSOA was the MC for this program that commenced with the recitation of Holy Quran by Mr Abbas Chelat, treasurer of ICSOA.

Mr Abbas Raza Alvi, President of the Indian Crescent Society of Australia welcomed everyone with a formal acknowledgement of traditional owners of the land and provided an update of ICSOA activities, mission and future goals.

He explained that the objective and purpose of ICSOA is to integrate and have a collective voice for Indian Muslims in Australia, representing them on Indian platforms in Australia as well as contribute towards the welfare of Muslims in India.

Mr Alvi emphasised that ICSOA aims to accommodate all sections of Muslims of Indian origin including subsequent generations born in Australia regardless of their origin, schools of thought and language and at the same time promote Indian heritage, culture and Urdu language.

He pointed out that ICSOA newsletters have now been regularly published with wide circulation announced the partnership of ICSOA with Australian MEFF Consortium and Australian Red Cross blood service with a plan to organise blood donation drive during next Multicultural Eid Festival and Fair on Sunday 9 July 2017 at Fairfield Showground.

Dr Habib Bhurawala, ICSOA health co-ordinator briefed on the activities of ICSOA health subcommittee and highlighted the ongoing burden of health diseases on Australian community despite advances in medical therapies.

Mr Abbas Alvi.

He emphasised the importance of appropriate prevention and health education programs in reducing the impact of various diseases and its positive effect on reduced health spending, better health outcomes for the migrant and multicultural community.

ICSOA Health Committee has planned a number of future community initiatives including health seminars on topics such as obesity, diabetes and mental health as well as health information/promotion articles for media channels by ICSOA members.

Dr Bhurawala introduced members of ICSOA Health Committee to the audience such as Dr Abdul Ahad Khan, Dr Zakir Akhunji, Dr Shakeel Abbas, Dr Zainab Ali, Dr Soliman Qurashi and Dr Muzib Abdul-Razak.

Dr Zakir Akhunji, the keynote speaker at the health education seminar spoke on the topic “What everyone should know about heart disease.”

Dr Zakir Akhunji is cardiothoracic surgeon at Prince of Wales and St George Hospitals, in Sydney and spoke on the role of diet and exercise on heart disease

He emphasised the need for 30 minutes’ brisk walk daily and having a healthy low-fat diet which is shown to significantly reduce the risk of heart disease.

Dr Zakir Akhunji encouraged the audience to be aware of various risk factors and seek appropriate medical help when signs or symptoms suggestive of a heart problem and provided an overview of various treatment modalities available for heart disease including various surgical procedures.

Ms Julia Finn MP.

His talk was followed by interactive question answer session moderated by Dr Ahad khan. This session generated a lot of interest from the audience.

Dr Akhunji was presented with a certificate of appreciation by ICSOA recognising his contribution towards health care.

Ms Julia Finn MP commended ICSOA for initiatives for creating community awareness in health care as well as other and other community activities. She highlighted the need for such community initiatives in migrant and multicultural communities.

Mr Siddiq Panwala, legal advisor of ICSOA announced future legal advice program of ICSOA which will be organised in July 2017. Further details will be available soon.

The seminar program concluded with a vote of thanks by the MC.