Since 2010, IMI has been coordinating medical missions to Iraq for Arbaeen. Over the last twelve years, IMI has had the honor of coordinating medical missions during Arbaeen in Iraq. 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 3 separate camps during Arbaeen in Karbala, one at the Haram of Imam Hussain (A.S). and the other in the Haram of Hazrat Abbas (A.S.), and additional medical services at Al Safeer Hospital where specialized doctors provide some clinical and surgical care, 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. These increases have allowed us to more than triple our impact with approximately 19,000 pilgrims cared for during the 5th medical mission and more than 75,000 cared for during the 6th Annual Arbaeen Medial Mission. Our 8th Annual Arbaeen Medical Mission allowed our impact to grow to an estimated 150,000 and the 9th Annual Arbaeen Medical Mission cared for over 110,000. Details are available by clicking here.
During IMI's 10th Annual Arbaeen Medical Mission, delegates from all over the world including Canada, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, South Africa, the US and UK, joined colleagues in Iraq to provide care and medications to more than 101,000 in need. Watch our video below for glimpses of the services provided last year through multiple major medical and dental camps in Karbala and Najaf, eye care clinics, and the donation of medications to clinics and Shrines in Karbala, Najaf and Samara. IMI's 11th Annual Arbaeen Medical Mission had 3 service areas in Karbala and one in Najaf. In addition, for the first time, the IMI International Arbaeen Health Conference was organized to provide disaster training for the staff and volunteers at the Shrines.
Last year, despite the difficulties of COVID-19 and the pandemic stopping our international delegates from joining in person, IMI’s 12th Annual Arbaeen Medical Mission was able to serve zawaar last year through the short medical camp near the Shrine of Hazrat Abbas (A.S.) under the leadership of Dr. Osama Khadum, as President of IMI Iraq and local health professionals with free medications, the distributions of masks and gloves as well as education regarding COVID-19 and its prevention. We were also able to help further by remote consults as needed at the camp and with a 24 hour telemedicine service provided in a medical camp along the walk between Najaf and Karbala.
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 6th Annual 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.
Over the years, we have expanded service as well as education and training through IMI's Annual Arbaeen Medical Mission, adapting to the challenges of each year. This year, Our drive to serve has guided us to come up with more new plans for this Arbaeen. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year's plans for Arbaeen have been significantly modified to provide services needed and requested by our Iraqi colleagues, brothers and sisters. Current plans include a medical camp in Karbala, in-person training in COVID-19 protocols & disaster medicine, public health information for pilgrims/zawaar, and the continued provision of free medications/medical supplies and equipment.
However, there are some modifications to ensure we can help serve the needs of the Iraqis, as well as manage our delegates health and safety. Our plans involve only one site this year, with additional adjustments to the camp schedules and rotas. We will also be reducing the number of delegates we can accept and the applications have been modified to assess additional criteria, including the associated risks levels for COVID-19. We are working to carefully plan the schedules and group arrangements with infection control protocols/guidelines that all delegates must agree to adhere to as well.
As in previous years, the IMI Annual Arbaeen Conference will focus on hands-on training for our Iraqi colleagues, students and Ataba personnel. Currently planned courses include:
Applications are now open for IMI's 13th Annual Arbaeen Medical Mission. All interested health professionals (especially general practitioners/ family & emergency medicine physicians, cardiologists, respiratory specialists/ pulmonologists, pediatricians) are invited to apply for Medical Staff, pharmacists for Pharmacy Staff, nurses for Nursing Staff, dentists for Dental Staff and non-health professionals or students for Administrative Staff. Apply early as applications are being reviewed on a rolling basis.
DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, IMI's ANNUAL ARBAEEN MEDICAL MISSION WILL BE FOLLOWING STRICT PROTOCOLS & GUIDELINES: BOTH IN IRAQ & IN ADVANCE FOR THE GROUP'S SELECTION AND LOGISTICS.
Our services as well as selection and process have all been modified accordingly and will require strict adherence from all delegates for everyone's health and safety. Please make sure you carefully review the updated requirements and application and complete it with all the requested details. DATES ARE TENTATIVE & TRAVEL WILL BE CAREFULLY MANAGED DUE TO THE PANDEMIC: PLEASE DO NOT BOOK YOUR TICKETS UNTIL YOU HAVE CONFIRMATION OF ACCEPTANCE & INFORMATION FROM IMI ON HOW TO DO SO.