A Portland doctor and her all-women team offered free health and wellness talks, blood pressure and body mass index checks to the community on Saturday, February 3.
Dr Zahroh Gabriels, daughter Portland’s Al-Masjidur Rawbie’s community leader Sheikh Ebrahim Gabriels, her sisters and various professionals from Gabriels Medical Practice hosted an outreach programme at the mosque hall, in Piccadilly Way.
Dr Gabriels spoke about striking the balance between physical and emotional well being; physiotherapist Aeysha Gabriels advised on healthy families and exercises for arthritis; and community dietician Moeznah Patience spoke on eating healthily on a small budget and advised on chronic condition care.
Sheikh Gabriels spoke about strong families building strong communities.
Dr Gabriels said like her father she wants to serve her community.
“We are a community based medical practice in service and care for those most vulnerable and in need of health care,” she said.
Dr Gabriels said the practice should be a source of community activism, a safe space and of healing.
“I come from here. It is where I grew up and want to be part of the development of the community,” she said.
Previously Dr Gabriels worked in Town Centre, where she experienced first hand the trauma, deprivation felt and needs of patients, which included the necessity for a safe space to heal.
She said while studying at the University of Cape Town (UCT) she shied away from telling people she lived in Mitchell’s Plain.
“All they knew and this perception that they had of Mitchell’s Plain was shooting, gangsterism and drugs,” she said.
Now almost a decade later, Dr Gabriels said she was proud to be working in this resilient community.
She said together with her colleagues they would like to see a ripple effect of helping families heal “one at a time”.
“The Gabriels doctors love working in the community they grew up in and find strength and hope in the beautiful people,” said Dr Gabriels.
For more information about reduced medical service fees for pensioners, scholars and students call the practice on 021 391 0377.