IMR History

The Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA) was founded in 1967 as a professional organization and a forum for Muslim healthcare professionals. It was at its inception that the founding fathers envisaged a relief role for the organization as well. In the early years, it started with providing monetary assistance for victims of natural disasters such as famine, earthquakes, typhoons & floods and to people caught in conflicts. The Federation of Islamic Medical Associations (FIMA) enabled IMANA Medical Relief to reach across the world and to network & collaborate alongside its member organizations. Over the years IMR graduated from a passive to an active role, from merely donating money to undertaking hands-on, active medical relief work.

The past fifteen years have seen IMANA Medical Relief (IMR) evolve into a globally recognized medical relief organization. It undertakes humanitarian and medical relief work with a strong commitment to its slogan “Making a Difference Around the World.” IMR is managed by a committee of experienced professionals who are veterans of multiple relief missions around the globe.

IMR became engaged in relief work on a larger scale for the first time after the havoc wreaked by the Indonesian tsunami in 2004. Several of our volunteers traveled to the disaster zone and worked in coordination with UN & other organizations to provide medical relief to the affected population. This was followed by months long commitment in the relief activities for victims of the massive Pakistan earthquake of 2005. Later came the Haiti earthquake and Pakistan floods of 2010. Amongst humanitarian and relief organizations, the term “Mega 4” refers to these four natural calamities; IMANA Medical Relief played a vital relief role following each of these disasters. These cataclysmic events set the stage for IMR to get involved in short and long-term relief work and healthcare.

Our relief activities are not limited to North America; a large part of the work is done overseas. IMR funds several healthcare projects as well as send volunteer teams for medical and surgical work in under developed regions of the world, like medical clinics in Haiti, cleft lip surgical missions to Sudan and burns surgery missions to Bangla Desh. In 2016 IMR launched medical missions for Syrian refugees in Jordan and undertook a cataract surgery mission also. IMR supports the operation of clinics, basic health centers and specialized facilities in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangla Desh and Kenya, where it has built hospitals and basic health centers as well. IMR also arranged advanced training for Palestinian physicians abroad. A complete breakdown of IMR relief work is given in its timeline.

IMR received the highest of honors when the American College of Physicians recognized IMANA’s relief work at their 2016 annual convention, awarding it the Richard & Hinda Rosenthal Award. IMR leadership has attended key international health summits like the World Health Organization (WHO) African Immunization and Vaccination Conference in Addis Ababa, World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Gates Foundation Polio Eradication Summit in Dakar and, more recently the first International Muslim Health Communities Congress, also in Istanbul. IMR regularly gets invited to and attends various federal level seminars, conferences, and workshops around the country, in addition to being a participant at major Islamic conventions in the country.

Our work has been recognized by the United Nations, US Department of State, USAID, World Health Organization, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Gates Foundation to name a few.

In 15 years of field work, IMR has achieved the following:

  • Over 2,000,000 million patients treated

  • Over 1 million benefited from humanitarian relief

  • 200 projects worldwide

  • 30 Rapid Response Teams

  • 65 Medical and Surgical Missions

  • 20 basic health centers established

  • 8 hospitals constructed

IMANA Medical Relief is internationally recognized as a World leader in delivering healthcare to the underserved populations.