Mosques across London’s worst-hit primary care trust have played a central role in disseminating information about swine flu.

East London Mosque community outreach and engagement officer Rayhan Uddin told HSJ: “We believe the most powerful communication mechanism is the Friday sermon.”

Through a partnership project funded by Tower Hamlets PCT the mosque ensured information about swine flu was included in sermons in the borough’s 30-plus mosques “within days” of the pandemic being declared, Mr Uddin said.

The East London Mosque will become an antiviral distribution point when the pandemic peaks.

By mid July, Tower Hamlets had the UK’s highest rate of people reporting flu-like symptoms at 792 per 100,000 - two thirds more than the second highest, Islington.

Mr Uddin said it was likely the quick work of the mosques had heightened symptom awareness.