By Farah Harb
DETROIT— HUDA Clinic is a health care unit established in 2004 by Muslim physicians to help uninsured citizens where the only requirement for treatment is being uninsured or under insured.
HUDA, which stands for Health Unit on Davison Avenue, has now sub-clinics that cater to different health departments like primary care mental health, dental care, podiatry and ophthalmology.
Clinic Chairman Dr. Tayeb Jukaku told The AANews that a common cause of bankruptcy is health bills.
“We [Muslim doctors in 2004] didn’t have the power to politically change anything, so we started this practice out of a rented room at the Muslim Center in Detroit,” he said. “We worked there twice a month and we slowly built it up every Saturday until we bought our own building in 2012 that is open to patients four times a week.”
The clinic is funded through annual fundraisers, charity contributions, Blue Cross and Islamic Relief, mosque contributions and generous community members.
On the weekdays, HUDA clinic brings volunteer doctors to work and St. Joseph’s hospital opened its doors for the clinic’s lab tests.
“St. Joseph Hospital has been very helpful,” Jukaku said. “They sometimes offer us free medications and we send our blood samples for testing to their laboratories.”
Student volunteers are welcome at the clinic, where they get certificates and recommendation letters for participation.
“We also have the ‘Doctor for the Day program’, where 10 to 14-year-old children are dressed in white coats,” Jukaku said. “We teach them how to listen to heartbeats, how to be hygienic, a little about CPR and then at the end of the day they get certificates to encourage them to pursue medicine and help people.”
He added that HUDA clinic also has a small garden called HUDA Urban Garden, where doctors and student volunteers grow produce and give them to their patients in an effort to promote healthy living.
“Most of our patients are non-Muslim; our clinic is for everybody,” he said. “It’s a thing that Muslims do that’s for everybody, irrespective of the religion.”
On Sunday, April 14 at 12 p.m., the clinic will host its 15th annual fundraiser luncheon to help support the clinic’s mission to improve the lives of those in need through comprehensive healthcare, education and resources. Guest speakers will be U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) and U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn), and State Rep. Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn). They’ll discuss leadership in the community through community empowerment.
To purchase tickets and for sponsorship information, please visit www.hudafundraiser.com