health Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Project (Iraq)


IMI’s work on Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine (PMR) in Iraq is one such program spearheaded by Dr. Huma Naqvi (IMI Board of Regents). In addition to annual specialist visits and telemedicine consults since 2012, to help meet the vast needs of the Iraqi children Dr. Naqvi sought a micro-grant from Einstein's Global Health Center to develop a collaborative program to train Iraqi health professionals, including pediatric neurologists, rheumatologists, pediatricians and physical, occupational and speech therapists.

After an assessment in Iraq of approximately 125 patients, through which cerebral palsy (and its complications) was identified as the most pressing need, Dr. Naqvi spearheaded collaboration between IMI, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and partners in Iraq for a year-long certificate program to teach the Iraqi professionals new techniques that could be helpful to their young patients.

The program included online courses as well as in person training at Al Kafeel Dynamic (Karbala, Iraq). The First AlKafeel Rehabilitation Conference program is attached here from March 2015.

The impact of this training program also includes benefits for residents in Einstein’s PMR program: “By advising Iraqi physicians and therapists, residents are learning too as, in the US, they don't often see the advanced issues that many of the young Iraqi patients have” Dr. Huma Naqvi

To share lessons from our work with those working in development and health globally, IMI also hosted an event on Neurodisabilities in Iraqi Children on June 14 at the United Nations during the 9th session of the Conference of State Parties to the Convention on Rights for Person with Disabilities.

Speakers highlighted the deterioration of the Iraqi health system, increase of neurodisabilities due to decades of warfare, patient services and capacity building done through our pilot program in collaboration with Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Conversations throughout the day focused on the needs of persons with disabilities and mainstreaming these issues into all realms of work.

Speakers included:

  • Dr. Huma Naqvi, Regent, Imamia Medics International, Assistant Professor in the Arthur S. Abramson Dept of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • Dr. Batul Ladak, IMI HQ Advisor for Tanzania, Pediatrician, Harlem Hospital Center
  • Dr. Mohammed Emam, Resident Physician at Montefiore Medical Center
  • Dr. Hana Azizi, Resident Physician at Montefiore Medical Center

The program continues, with a recent conference on Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Conference held in Iraq from August 9-August 17, 2016, and curriculum development underway based on local needs for new online and in person trainings.

The PMR course will also be made available shortly on IMI’s new E-Learning Site.

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