Colunbus, Ohio, USA: May 17 health fair geared toward Somali population | ThisWeek Community News
The third annual Somali Health and Wellness Fair will take place this year on Saturday, May 17.
The event returns to the Global Mall, also sometimes known as the Somali Shopping Center, 2210 Morse Road.
The hours will be 2:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Hibo H. Noor, health program manager for the Office of Minority Health at Columbus Public Health, made the announcement at last week's North Side Health Advisory Committee meeting.
Although geared primarily to the medical concerns of the Somali population in central Ohio, the free health screenings for blood sugar, hypertension, hepatitis B, body mass index and oral health are open to anyone, Noor said.
The screenings are conducted by a team of doctors and dentists who are originally from Somalia.
Noor asked other members of the advisory panel for advice on finding someone to provide hearing testing at the May 17 health and wellness event.
Last year's fair had more than 22 tables representing groups and organizations in the health-care field, including Columbus Public Health and the Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center free clinic, according to Noor.
The fair offers information on health care and insurance, nutrition, diet, physical activity, autism, epilepsy, diabetes, mental health and more, according to the flier for last year's event.
"We encourage Somalis to come," Noor said.
Management at the Global Mall and the Somali Community Association sponsor the Somali Health and Wellness Fair, along with Molina Healthcare, the Ohio Commission on Minority Health, the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Horn of Africa Volunteer Youth Committee, Nexus Counseling Group and Columbus Public Health.
Years of conflict have had terrible effects on Somalia’s children. Many have lost their parents and ended up the streets. One Somali mother from the diaspora has set up an orphanage to help them and people with disabilities.
Hundreds of orphaned children live in the streets of Mogadishu, taking shelter in abandoned buildings and often abuse drugs. This centre though has now become a refuge, a place where street children can call home. The centre holds more 200 children.
Halima Mohamed, a mother of 10 came back from the diaspora to reach out to orphans and the homeless children of Mogadishu.
Somalia’s long conflict had heavy toll on children; they were killed and maimed, and thousands left on the streets and in IDP camps. For now though, it’s mothers like Halima who are making the difference for them
Here, they receive basic read and write lessons, and at times Halima becomes their teacher.
Somalia has since 2007 been in the United Nations list of countries that recruit children for combat. But centres like this one gives them hope for prospects of better future.