First Annual Arbaeen Medical Mission

Since 2010, IMI has been coordinating medical missions to Iraq for Arbaeen. From 2010-2017, IMI has had the honor of coordinating eight medical missions during Arbaeen in Iraq. (Applications for the 9th Annual Arbaeen Medical Mission being held OCtober-November 2017 will be open online shortly)

The initial Arbaeen Medical Mission involved one medical camp in Karbala in Babul Qibla with a 9-member international team and countless translators and local volunteers. Approximately 4000 pilgrims were provided care through this initiative. Since then, IMI’s Arbaeen Medical Mission has expanded, with 148,000 served in the 8th Annual Arbaeen Medical Mission in November-December 2016 through 3 separate camps: one at the Haram of Imam Hussain (A.S). and the other in the Haram of Hazrat Abbas (A.S.) in Karbala, as well as a medical camp just after Arbaeen at the Haaram of Imam Ali (A.S.) in Najaf. Our international delegations have increased in size as well with over 100 delegates from Europe, North America, South Asia and the Middle East.

During every Arbaeen Medical Mission, most of our physicians provided basic/GP level health and dental care. Some complex medical problems requiring specialist input and surgeries are also tackled during our time in Iraq. For example, during the 5th Arbaeen Medical Mission, a surgery was performed by plastic surgeon Dr Faheem Khadim on the arm/hand of a patient from Saudi Arabia who was shot on his way to Kazmain to ensure that his nerves were not severed and functionality of all of his fingers was preserved. In addition, two workshops were conducted at Kufa University: one on medical neutrality and another on neuro urology/neuromodulation. A workshop was also presented on mental health in Najaf.

One of the critical goals of IMI’s work in Iraq—something that sets us apart from all other clinics there—training for Iraqis, is also accomplished during the Arbaeen Medical Mission. During the last mission, Iraqi doctors and over 75 nursing students, as well as other health professionals, were able to benefit from hands on experience working with IMI delegates seeing both how care for patients is delivered medically but also ethically and through a systematic layered triage approach that includes patient sensitive, professional communication.

Testimonials
  • It was an excellent once in a lifetime experience. Going with IMI enables us to be treated so well and we could see so many special places. 

    Sabina Syed
  • I want to thank you all for giving me such a great opportunity to be a part of your team (in Haiti). It was a unique experience and I really enjoyed working with you all. 

    Mitra Arjang
  • I cannot express the profound impact IMI has had on my life: from the incredible opportunity to serve on the Arbaeen Medical Mission to the insightful career guidance and special programs for Young Leaders that I’ve benefitted from!

    Mohammed Akbar
  • I graduated from medical college in Pakistan. Knowing I wanted to pursue a specialty in the US, I went through the routine process of studying for and clearing the USMLE's and becoming ECFMG certified. There are plenty of online forums that help you up to that stage. What happens after that and before you land a residency is something no one prepares you for. Even knowing a person who went through the process is not enough. I found the answers to all my questions about the process, its workings and methods at the IMI Career Guidance Seminar. I learnt more in the few hours I spent there than I did in months, yes months, of thorough research online and through the measly networking I was capable of as a foreign graduate. It is literally a live 'Medical Residency for Dummies', and you get great coffee and dinner to boot. I interacted with candidates like myself along with current residents, and doctors who are involved in hiring committees at hospitals. I learnt how to choose programs, how to strengthen my resume, what to seek and where, and even what to wear. I have a month before I apply, but after the seminar - I have more confidence in the 'how' of the process.  I walked in to the seminar hall a nervous wreck - armed with vague internet advice and the intimidation of an overwhelming process. I thought my average scores would filter me out of every hospital program - I left knowing I need to apply 'wisely', not 'widely'. I learnt how to identify and enhance my positives, and overcome my shortcomings. I understood how to streamline programs to apply to, how to contact them and the level of persistence to employ. I was made aware of the importance of and difference between clinical experience in the US and research experience, and how to add both to my resume. All this, and more, in just a few hours. I cannot stress enough the effects this seminar had on me. I am now realistic in my approach - versus the optimism fresh graduates tend to bring with them. You may choose not to believe me, but after the seminar I didn't just breathe a sigh of relief - I let slip a few tears as well. I knew what to do, how to do it and where to ask for assistance. 

    If InshAllah, I secure a residency in the upcoming match, I will owe the organizers and the speakers at the seminar more than they will take credit for. 

    Annie Agha
  • I just wanted to say thanks to everyone on this list for what proved to be a truly life-altering experience.  It was terrific working with all of you, except Farhaj...But seriously, Naeema and some of my other classmates know rather well that I had allowed medical school and the residency process to make me cynical and tired.  I'm happy to say though, that after a week of truly hard work, emotional challenge, and actually helping some people, I have returned home feeling refreshed and renewed.  As corny as this all sounds, I'm actually excited to be a doctor again.  I can't thank you all enough for that. So I'm hooked on relief work.  I hope that I have more opportunities to help in situations like this, and if possible, to work with you all again.

    P. Pratcha (IMI Relief: Haiti)
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