Friday, February 1, 2013

For more information about IMANA's efforts in Haiti and other locations. Visit their site, starting here.

Friday, April 2, 2010

IMANA Volunteers Working in Port-Au-Prince as Rainy Season Begins

Since IMANA volunteers first began delivering medical care in Port-Au-Prince in January, the medical needs and situation of the Haitian people have continued to evolve.  Initially, there was a great need for those able to help with wounds, broken bones, and other injuries.  While care for those injuries continued, needs began to shift over the next few days and weeks to deal more with primary care and mental health issues.

Over a million people had lost their homes in the earthquake.  More recently, public health officials have been raising concern about a potential second wave of tragedy as the rainy season approaches, which coupled with poor sanitation in makeshift camps could lead to high rates of infectious disease. In part to be responsive to this  need, IMANA members are volunteering with the Jenkins/Penn Haitian Relief Organization (J/P HRO), which you can read more about here.  Mansoor Khadir, who was a team member of IMANA team 5  is now acting as IMANA's Logistics Liaison. Team members are flying into and out of the Port-Au-Prince airport rather than having to travel through the Dominican Republic as they were initially. 

While IMANA is not recruiting more volunteers to travel to Port-Au-Prince at this time, IMANA's commitment to the Haitian people continues and IMANA is exploring partnerships, like the one with J/P HRO, through which it can continue to play a role in bringing relief to the people of Haiti.  Please keep them in your prayers.  As always, donations to IMANA for relief work in Haiti will continue to make a significant impact on the well-being and recovery for our Haitian brothers and sisters.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

@MansoorforHaiti Tweet Archive

We'd like to thank Mansoor Khadir for his efforts in helping Haiti in this time of need.  May he be rewarded for his efforts.  Mansoor used twitter to communicate throughout his stay in Port-au-Prince.  Here is an archive of his messages during that time. 

  1. Enjoyed tweeting from port-au-prince. This is @mansoorforhaiti signing off as I board my flight to US. Salaam, God Bless y Buena Suerte ...
  2. Arrived in SDQ last nite. Had farewell dinner w/ team. Mission successful. IMANA team 5 forever bound together.
  3. Passed the border few hrs ago, few issues. Mayhem @ the border, but team made it safely thru. Enroute to santo domingo.
  4. Passed the border few hrs ago, few issues. Mayhem @ the border, but everyone made it safely thru. Enroute to santo domingo.
  5. IMANA Team 6 will replace Team 5, they arrive tomr. Mansoor is for Haiti but now Im with Haiti. La Ilaha Illa, keep Haiti in your duahs.
  6. Final tweets from PAP. Like a UN OCHO representative said to me in a thick french accent; "Port-au-Prince is still burning", Team 5 agrees.
  7. I will have a few thoughts on trip on our blog when I return to US, stories, pics & thoughts, our docs will provide some commentary as well.
  8. team was quiet in the early morning when packing. they know that they are needed. close to 3,000 Haitians treated in our trip. mA.
  9. team leaves late morning to Santo Domonigo, they're attending to a few patients; fevers, body aches and a few infections.
  10. The last nite @ Port-au-Prince was very pleasant, cool, no rain and the mosquito were tolerable. our extra supplies go to local orphanage.
  11. hernia, hope that is the last time I ever re-spell that.
  12. Dr. Faisal just handed me papers of 94 patients that he saw at the distant church clinic that he visited today. grand total for today 394
  13. Last nite @ Bojeux Parc, (IMANA Clinic). Nite is full of mosquitoes, warm and will prolly be unpleasant to sleep thru. But I will miss it.
  14. Clinic saw 300 patients w/ one field team seeing 25. Herina surgery, wound treatment but most importantly, the birth a baby boy, baby bojeux
  15. Dodged the rain in the day, but got few showers in the evening. rain worsens traffic, brings diseases and alters medic needs, in that order.
  16. we had rain last night @ camp. water flooded some of our personal stuff, no major damages, except for some soggy pringles. overcast today :(
  17. Surgery currently in clinic, Inguinai Hernia. Stepped into the OR to take a look, stepped right back out, not pleasant. leave docs to it
  18. Busy morning Dr. Tesfa Young escorted pregnant women with pre-term pains to Brazilian Clinic for medication. Women is reportedly doing well.
  19. totals for today; clinic 300, field team to orphanage in church lead by dr. bilal khokar: 50. grand total: 350
  20. I was off clinic site tonight. Port-au-prince traffic slowing down all relief support transport. was stuck in traffic total of 2 hrs.
  21. Five hour power outage in the camp. generator went out. today's total # of patients, clinic: 350, Tent City: 200, 82nd Airbourne: 50
  22. National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians (NOAH) they have a well organized and hard working medical staff.
  23. Clinic is in full swing, 250 ppl or so thus far seen, two field teams of docs deployed to Tent Cities.
  24. Final team member of IMANA Team 5 has arrived into IMANA Port-au-Prince Camp, Nurse Monica Adorno, who worked on team 2 as well.
  25. retweet: blog is, sorry - been busy this morning.
  26. Last night our team received 2 more docs who were delayed in there travel to PAP. Rahel Zubari & Faisal Raja. Total IMANA Docs: 9
  27. Good Morning. Request from ppl following us on Twitter, Facebook & Buzz for blog address (pics & info) :
  28. For Monday: 500 (IMANA Clinic) + 240 (Islamic Relief Tent Camps) + 276 (82nd Airborne) + 40 (Feras Khan) = Treated 1,076 Haitian People.
  29. Feras Khan was miss tweeted as joining a tent city visit. Instead he visited a church clinic. He was able to treat 40ppl.
  30. Main IMANA clinic shared with orgs CDRS and NOAH (New York American Haitians) treated 500 ppl.
  31. Mustafa Haq & Tesfa Young along with CDRS Doc Santoshi treated 116 ppl @ 82nd Airborne Hosp. & 160 @ their field camp, treated total of 276
  32. Docs Charles, Nurse Allison, Med student Zubair along with other relief org workers from partner CDRS - Kelly & Karl - treated 240 ppl.
  33. Tent Cities are what Relief workers refer to the relief camps created from the earthquake.
  34. Zubair treated at the "Tent City": aches, infections, chest-pains, bronchitis, TBs, muscle pain, hernia, ultra sound referral and other.
  35. Zubair returned from relief camp. Treated 27 patients among the 250 total seen by Dr. Charles Held and nurse Allison Lynn of IMANA & company
  36. Dr. Charles Held & nurse Allison Lynn both were participants in IMANA field trip to relief camp in PAP. They went along with Zubair & Feras.
  37. Asif ilyas, belal khokar, osama soliman and feras naji assigned to clinc today. They are BUSY!
  38. Haiti just completed 3 days of mourning for 1 month aniversary of quake. Busier than usual at clinic cuz of it.
  39. Med student zubair chao & ER doc feras khan deployed w/ other org docs into a relief camp of 400. 2 IMANA teams, 2 Camps.
  40. Doc mustafa haq & tesfa young join two 82nd airborne docs and head to 600 ppl relief camp. Med student zubar choa
  41. Wifi problems at camp. Reason for unkept promise of pics. Expect pics soon. Stay tuned.
  42. first day: IMANA Clinic has 120 person line @ entrance. Two IMANA eams delpoyed into field w/ 82nd airborne & slum east of PAP.
  43. First impression of clinic - inspiring; accomplished so much with so little. Make shift hospital in a childeren's playground - only IMANA.
  44. Delayed twitter update due to poor cell coverage. Issue fixed. Will have blog post of the IMANA Clinic in Haiti. Pics and all. Stay tuned.
  45. Team has arrived in haiti. Left from Santo Domingo (DR) this morning. 7 hour drive over the border.
  46. Travel Update Day 2: Team spent the nite in DR. Enroute to border. Will upload pic tonite, iA.
  47. Team 5 enroute to Clinic, here is a repost of IMANA Volunteer who traveled with Team 2 & who will be joining T5:
  48. Our Team has been advised to bring rain gear. PortAuPrince being hit hard by rain. Further complicating efforts:
  49. State of Haiti: 212,000 reported dead, 250,000 homes destroyed, 1 million living in streets. Source:
  50. Scheduled arrival to IMANA's Haiti Clinic will be this weekend. Team comprises of: 8 docs, 1 ast/nurse, 2 med students & 2 non-medical
  51. You can learn more about #IMANA - Islamic Medical Association of North America: 4th medical team currently in Haiti.
  52. Joined #IMANA 's Mission to #Haiti & I will be covering the trip at One week with a team of doctors & Haitians.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Muslim Doctors Helping Haiti Victims

Dilshad Ali of reports:

When he entered Haiti from neighboring Santo Domingo and made his way into Port au Prince, Dr. Nabile Safdar knew that nothing he had been told or seen in television footage prepared him for the scene on the ground.

The numbed attitude of the Haitians whom Safdar encountered reflected the level of destruction of Haiti's capital city by the devastating earthquake in late January. "Most had lost their homes, and everyone had lost a family member," Safdar said. "The people we were seeing were in a state of shock and disbelief. They were very stoic and not sure what was going on. We knew we had to help right away."

Safdar was on the first team of Muslim doctors dispatched by the Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA) to Haiti a mere five days after a severe earthquake struck the nation. After scrambling to find a way to help, IMANA forged a partnership with the Comprehensive Disaster Response Services (CDRS), which was already on the ground in Haiti doing the logistical work needed to set up a medical clinic, and AIMER Haiti — a Haitian group, which scouted out a location.

IMANA, an association of doctors of the Islamic faith established nearly 40 years ago, does not have relief work as its primary focus, said Dr. Ismail Mehr, a four-year-member of IMANA and head of its relief committee. The mission of the group is to provide a forum and resource for Muslim physicians and other healthcare professionals, promote a greater awareness of Islamic medical ethics and values, advocate in health care policy, and provide relief.

"Because of our deen (Islamic Religion), the relief part becomes inevitable," Mehr said. "So when this whole disaster occurred, the first thing the president of IMANA and me said to each other was, 'How can we help in Haiti?'"

[Read full article]

Monday, February 22, 2010

Dr. Rick Colwell, Gone 2 Haiti

John Quinlan of the Sioux City Journal reports [excerpts]:

This is the story of two men who went to Haiti.

In the wake of the earthquake that devastated that island nation on Jan. 12. leaving more than 230,000 dead and many thousands more hurt and homeless, a doctor and a banker from Sioux City were among scores of Siouxlanders who traveled to Haiti as missionaries.

Dr. Rick Colwell, an emergency-room physician at St. Luke's Regional Medical Center, went to Port-au-Prince on Jan. 24 on a week-long humanitarian and medical mission sponsored by the Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA). It was his third such mission with the group, his last exactly one year earlier when he went to Gaza during the bombing, his first in 2005 to Pakistan when an earthquake struck that country.


"Everything still smells like dead bodies over there. Everywhere you go you can smell death. So you know there's lots of bodies buried in that rubble still," said Dr. Rick Colwell whose team was the second from IMANA to hit the ground in Haiti, replacing the initial team that set up its base of operations in Boujeaux Park, an amusement park near U.N. headquarters at Port-au-Prince. A week later, they were replaced by another IMANA team.

Colwell and his colleagues, specialists of every kind, flew into a staging area at Santa Domingo in the Dominican Republic, then trucked across the mountains to Haiti. Most of the team members, another ER doctor, anesthesiologists, vascular surgeons, interventional cardiologists, even an OB-GYN doctor, were from the East Coast, including some folks he knew from previous missions. And they came with their own food and supplies so as not to add to Haiti's problems.

What they saw 12 days after the quake was a lot of destruction, a lot of tarps and tents set up over drainage areas.

There were a lot of people walking around. "It seemed like a lot of people were living out of wheelbarrows," he said. "If you had a wheelbarrow, you were golden 'cause you could put your stuff in there and kind of move around with your wheelbarrow."

Though several buildings had fallen down in the amusement park, some structures remained.
"They were like the tiki-tent things with the poles and maybe a wall on one side, like where we set up our main area to do the wound care and stuff," Colwell said. "It looked like it had been a concession area, which we turned into the pharmacy. All the donated supplies we stuck in the back room and we filled the shelves with the medicines and the casting stuff that we were using the most."

Some of the larger medical groups in Haiti, the ones that had everything, were so cumbersome they were not getting anything done, Colwell observed.

"The people that are getting work done over there are the small groups like ours that just went in and took an area and made a little tent area out of it and started seeing people," he said, pointing to two of the successful groups what worked on-site with IMANA: NOAH (the National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians) and AIMER (Love) HAITI, the group that established the site.

"It's exactly like a MASH operation," he said. "We did cerclages, which is where somebody has an incompetent cervix, and we took her in our new surgery tent and sewed her cervix together so that she wouldn't lose the baby," he said. "And we did amputations outside. We had an orthopedic surgeon, a vascular surgeon. They both ran wound-care clinics back in their respective hometowns of Atlanta and Richmond or Norfolk,Virginia."

The "new" air-conditioned surgery tent was a gift from the fabled Fairfax (Virginia) Urban Search and Rescue guys who always leave their supplies behind when they fly home.  They wanted an indoor surgical area. And they got it. Doing an amputation outdoors amidst flies and other creatures was an experience that Colwell, for one, did not care to repeat.

Colwell said his team, whose members were lucky to catch four hours of sleep a night, saw about 300 patients a day -- 1,300 in their 4.5 days on site. Without CAT-Scans, the docs were limited to doing things the way medicine was done years ago.

"You can see them fast because there's no charting," he said. "They're glad to see you. They're very appreciative. You know, you don't have to practice defensive medicine. You just see the people and you take your best clinical guess at what you think is going on and try to treat it. And you have them come back in a couple of days if they're not doing better."

The Haitians proved to be "resilient" patients.

"Most places where you see wounds like that, those people die," he said. "But they fought the infections pretty good. I can't say why for sure, but they tolerated that stuff pretty good. They're pretty tough."

But health conditions could get even worse in Haiti.

"It's been very difficult because of the lack of infrastructure with the Haitians," Colwell said. "We had some problems with being able to do stuff with patients because of political nonsense that goes on there. A lot of the aid is still sitting on the tarmac."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dr. Qureshi Talks to CIOGC

The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago reports:

Chicago Muslim Doctors return from Haiti

Haiti may be fading from the front pages of the news, but relief groups from all across the globe are still working very hard to provide aid to the devastated nation. Council-member, The Islamic Medical Association of North America has sent six teams of Doctors and medical personnel to provide emergency medical care to those affected by the massive earthquake.

“In a country of 9 million people, there are just 2,000 physicians,” said Chicagoan, Dr. Imran Qureshi in an interview with the Chicago Crescent after returning from a week on the ground in Port-au-Prince. “I led IMANA team 5 in setting up a mobile medical facility out of an amusement park and we saw between 500 and 800 patients a day.”

This is not Dr. Qureshi’s first medical relief trip. He also volunteered in Gaza last year. From pediatric dehydration and broken bones to infections and headaches, IMANA and other medical teams have to address a myriad of needs with limited resources.

“Gaza already had some sort of medical infrastructure, even though it was poor,” Qureshi said. “In Haiti, they had nothing. We had to invent a medical facility and set up and OR from scratch.”

Although preliminary aid has reached Haitians, he urged people to keep on giving as it will take several months, if not more, for them to get back on their feet.

“I especially worry about the upcoming rainy season. What will happen to all the people in stick tents?”

The Council has already sent more than $25,000 of YOUR donations to Haiti.

Dr. Safdar Reflects on 5 Days in Haiti

American Roentgen Ray Society reports:

Five Days in Haiti

The world was shocked by the damage that a 7.0-magnitude earthquake wreaked on Haiti last month. Only four days after the quake, Nabile Safdar, M.D., assistant professor of diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore traveled to the country to lend a clinical hand to the relief effort. Initially, he was overwhelmed. Now he wants the radiology community to think about the next disaster.

Q: What prompted you to lend your skills to Haiti?

A: I think I probably felt the same way many other people felt across the board; we wanted to help in whatever way we could. Luckily, I had a friend who had done relief work in other disasters, so he called and asked if I would like to go because they could use more people. When he called, he was talking about leaving within 48 hours, so it was short notice, but I knew at the time that there was an acute need not just for all types of surgical care but also for primary care. I felt comfortable doing basic primary care.

[Read full article]

Dr. Galaria, First Responder After Earthquake

Sally Voth of reports:

WINCHESTER -- Setting foot in Haiti just days after the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake, Winchester surgeon Dr. Irfan Galaria was reminded of a war zone.

He would know, having been part of a medical aid team to Gaza last winter following an Israeli bombing campaign.

"My initial reaction [in Haiti], I was very shocked to how similar the situation seemed, but in Gaza it was man-made, it was from missiles," said Galaria, sitting in his office at his recently opened practice, Galaria Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery, in Winchester.

The earthquake occurred on a Tuesday, and within a day, Galaria, who performs mainly reconstructive and hand surgery and has a lot of experience in trauma and wound care, knew what he had to do.

[Read full article]

Saturday, February 20, 2010

This weekend, IMANA Relief Team 5 Returning from, Team 6 Departing for Port-au-Prince

We would like to welcome back Team 5, which has begun its journey home this weekend. We wish Team 6 a safe trip in which they can continue delivering the health care still needed in Port-au-Prince. May Allah reward them all for their good work.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

IMANA Relief's Team 3 Shares Report

Dr. Faiz Khan, the Vice Chair and Head of Academic Affairs of Emergency Medicine at the Nassau University Medical Center was one of the members of IMANA Relief Team 3.  He shares this presentation of some of Team 3's experiences while delivering care in Port-au-Prince.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Volunteer Reports Journey to Haiti

Editor's Note:  Mansoor Khadir is an IMANA Relief Volunteer on Team 5.  Here is an update from his trip, as his team reaches Haiti.

@MansoorForHaiti: Getting To Port-au-Prince

To get to Haiti, IMANA teams have a long and daunting journey. It starts by the travel to the capital city of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. It is usually a 12 hour journey where the typical IMANA Doctor carries with him or her, boxes of supplies destined for the field hospital set up by IMANA and its partners outside of Port-au-Prince.

Team 5 gathered in Santo Domingo on the morning of Saturday Feb.14 preparing to depart for Port-au-Prince.  From top row starting right; Internal Medicine Dr. Charles Held, Medical Student Zubair Chao, Logistic Mansoor Khadir, ER Dr. Feras Khan, Plastic Surgeon Dr. Osama Soliman, ER Dr. Tesfa Young, Med Student Firas NajiBottom Row from right: Orthopedic Surgeon Asif Ilyas, PA Allison Lynn, Orthopedic Surgeon Mustafa Haq & Team Leader Internal Medicine Bilal Khokar

The drive to Port-au-Prince from Santo Domingo is 7 hours long, through the western mountain ranges of the Dominican Republic and over the deep eastern valleys of Haiti. The drive is a gradual climb, and then a steep fall followed by sharp rise again all through crumbled rock roads.

The border crossing of the Dominican Republic (DR) and Haiti was not as much of challenge as I imagine previous IMANA teams and humanitarian groups likely encountered. The exchange of trucks filled with supplies, vans transporting relief workers, and DR/Haitian citizens crossing the border in tropical heat seemed to be controlled chaos.

But it was apparent that within a moments notice, the traffic could easily be overwhelming and out of control. Order was being held by the slightest of gestures of courtesy by everyone crossing--it was with their blessing that our crossing was as safe as it was. We were thankful.

We crossed calmly, then roared through the valley trailed a dust of rock behind us before zig zagging the mountains and then gradually descending into Port-au-Prince.

IMANA Team 5 arrived.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

IMANA Relief Team 5 Volunteer Will Be Tweeting From Port-au-Prince

Editor's Note:  Mansoor Khadir is one of the IMANA Relief volunteers leaving this coming weekend for Port-au-Prince.  Mansoor will be using Twitter to communicate updates from the field.  You can follow his tweets from the sidebar of this blog throughout his stay in Haiti.  Here, Mansoor shares some of his initial thoughts before leaving this weekend.  
@MansoorForHaiti: Fortune of Circumstance

The final item on my IMANA Relief Worker travel checklist is a prescription of Malaria fighting medication that I need to pack for my trip. I have been advised to start the medication immediately so that I won’t be susceptible to the disease if infected. 

I am fortunate to live in circumstances where I can preemptively reduce my chances of infection from such a deadly disease. There are many people that do not have my fortune - especially the Haitians I am about to meet.

With my fortune of circumstance in hand - Haiti will be my destination and IMANA Team 5 will be my companion. I'm giving Haiti as much of who I am so that they can restore as much of who they are. So let's start by saying; Mansoor is for Haiti.

My name is Mansoor and I am the Logistics guy for IMANA Team 5, which is scheduled to arrive in Haiti this weekend. I have volunteered to help IMANA facilitate their services and treatment for the Earthquake victims of Haiti.

I would not have volunteered for any other organization - I am helping for Haiti - but it is by the grace of IMANA’s reputation. I have confidence in the operation both in terms of quality of treatment and rate of success. Already my first triumph has been to be awarded the privilege to be a IMANA volunteer.

I am hoping that with an IMANA volunteer badge on hand that I might be able to use Twitter throughout my visit to Haiti. As this weekend approaches and as I climb aboard the train of relief work - I plan to use Twitter to help capture the events, the stories and the people of IMANA’s Haitian Clinic. Simply put - I plan to capture evidence of the restoration of the Haitian spirit.

Stay tuned to IMANA’s Relief Blog as I plan to provide Tweets of my days and nights from the Haitian capital. My name is Mansoor and I am the Logistics Guy for Team 5... and I'm for Haiti.

Mansoor Khadir