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Muslim Community Leader Anjum Rahman Describes ‘gold Standard’ COVID-19 Healthcare

Hamilton-based Muslim community leader Anjum Rahman has described the health and welfare support she received after logging her positive COVID-19 test on My COVID Record.

In a series of tweets she described the supportive calls from public health, the Waikato Care in the Community Hub, her GP, and medication delivered to her doorstep by her pharmacy as ‘gold standard health care.’

Rahman who founded the Inclusive Aotearoa Collective Tāhono (IACT) after the 2019 mosque attacks in Christchurch says she particularly wanted to share her positive experience because she too often heard the opposite when connecting with people through IACT.

“We formed IACT to build inclusivity, and in the process met with over 800 people, listening to their stories of belonging, and not belonging.”

“Many of them talked about how difficult it was for them to access the healthcare they needed,” says Rahman. “It was often about how hard it was to get to the right medical professional and, when they did, of being really heard and listened to.”

By contrast, she says her care following submitting her COVID-19 positive form was coordinated and comprehensive. The Waikato DHB called asking how she was, checked on the events leading up to her positive test, and were thorough in answering all her questions before referring her to the Waikato Care in the Community Hub.

The hub then checked she was well supported, could get groceries, helped her access RAT tests, and followed up with a text giving her relevant websites and 0800 number. Later that afternoon her GP called and talked through her asthma management plan promising to call again in two days.

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Rahman says than when her GP called at the scheduled time, she was concerned about her breathing, and was immediately prescribed further medication sent to the nearest pharmacy.

“Within an hour, the medication was at my doorstep, delivered by the pharmacy, and this was then followed up with a call from my GP the next day,” said Anjum. “To me, this feels like gold standard health care. I was given the information and medicines I needed, and knew there were people who cared, and were ready to help as soon as I needed it.”

“It meant I didn't need to feel hesitant about asking. I'd been treated with empathy and genuine concern. I want to thank all the health professionals involved. They have been amazing. Everyone deserves this level of care.”

Maree Munro, Executive Lead Waikato DHB COVID-19 Directorate, says there are 11 regional Care in the Community hubs throughout the Waikato, and the DHB is partnering with local iwi, Kauapapa Māori and Pacific providers and the Hamilton Multicultural Services Trust to achieve the best possible health outcome for everyone.

“They have played a key role in caring for communities during this COVID-19 outbreak. There is now planning underway to leverage off the hubs’ COVID-19 response success to be prepared for winter and the arrival of influenza and other respiratory-like illness in the community.

“A number of the hubs are supporting the delivery of vaccinations such as influenza, MMR and childhood immunisations to the community in a culturally safe manner, as we focus on an immunisation catch-up across the Waikato.”

The central coordination hub can be contacted 8am-8pm, 7 days a week on 0800 220 250 or by email at, and the COVID Healthline, national call centre and the DHB’s local call centre can also refer the caller to their regional Care in the Community hub, or support them directly.

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