Dr. Tanveer Zubairi

Dr. Tanveer Zubairi

Health is considered in Islam as a blessing given by Allah SWT to human beings. The Prophet (PBUH) said, "There are two blessings which many people do not appreciate: health and leisure time. "It is a human responsibility to preserve the blessing of health.

At the United Nations Millenium Summit in September 2000, 189 world leaders adopted the Millenium Declaration which was translated into a set of eight Millenium Developmeng Goals - best known by the acronym MDGs. These goals, with targets and indicators, have special relevance to population, development, and health, and have become important tools of monitoring human progress. The target year for achieving all MDGs has been set for 2015, with 1990 being the baseline. The Muslim countries have committed to achieving the above MDGs.

On the contrary to this commitment the health status of the Muslim countries in general, ranging from oil rich Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to Somalia and Afghanistan and the achievement in implementing the MDGs is not meeting the expected standards. Muslims form one of the biggest religious groups in the world with an estimated population of over 1.8 billion. Achieving the MDGs holds the promise of saving millions of lives; addressing the scourge of illiteracy, hunger, and malnutrition; and ensuring good health to lead productive lives. However, achieving Health MDGs 4, 5, and 6 may appear a daunting task to many developing and relatively resource poor Muslim nations.

OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) in the same wake of improving the preventive and curative health standards in the under devloped Muslim countries. The 4th Islamic Conference of Health Ministers (ICHM), held in Jakarta on 22-24 October 2013, adopted the OIC Strategic Health Programme of Action (SHPA) 2014-2023. The Health Ministers also adopted a detailed implementation Plan to facilitate and guide the effective implementation of the SHPA.

The SHPA provides a framework for focused action and international collaboration for the next ten years to deal with the most pressing challenges and needs of the OIC Member States in the field of health. The adoption of the SHPA and its Implementation Plan is expected to impart a new impetus to the OIC health agenda and the programmes and activities of the OIC and its institutions in this field. FIMA is now a new partner with OIC to jointly work on these health related issues and FIMA has extended its fullest support to OIC in meeting the challenges in SHPA.

Under OIC, Muslim countries are building upon the strength of Islamic traditions self-help, solidarity and protection of the people especially the vulnerable. Many of these countries demonstrably require additional resources, hence the flow of developmental assistance needs to be increased, with the wealthier Muslim countries assuming their responsibility towards the poorer nations by providing the necessary funding and technical expertise. Without good inter-country cooperation, achieving the health related MDGs is likely to remain elusive for many Muslim nations.

Nevertheless, Muslim nations have reiterated their commitment to give high priority in providing optimum and quality health care to their population at the third Islamic Conference of Health Ministers held in Astana, Republic of Kazakhstan in October 2011 and later in Jakarta in 2013. If we are to meet the MDGs, there is no time to rest, we have to infuse a new sense of urgency to prepare for the final push to achieve the MDGs by 2015 and fulfill the hopes of millions of people in the Muslim nations.


Dr. Tanveer Zubairi
FIMA President

A few years back the world was ready to witness and bid farewell to the deadly disease of Poliomyelitis, which took lives and made crippled millions of children since time immemorial.

Unfortunately this dream has not yet come true, owing to the fact that only three Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference remain endemic to the disease.

In all these three countries, national polio emergency action plans have been launched under the auspices of the offices of the heads of state, to rapidly interrupt the remaining chains of wild poliovirus transmission.

We make a note with grave concern the ongoing transmission of wild poliovirus in parts of Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan, and remaining political, cultural, security, and societal obstacles preventing all children in these areas to be vaccinated against polio; and in particular, the tragic and deadly attacks against frontline health workers in parts of Pakistan since December 2012; a recent outbreak has again shown itself in 2014 when five polio workers have been killed in the hands of extremists.

In any region of country, polio eradication efforts require the full engagement of political and religious leaders, civil society organizations, medical fraternity, all sectors of society and Government to gain access to and vaccinate every last child.

At this critical juncture we have to recognize the potentially devastating and deadly consequences of not eradicating polio, that may result in large polio outbreaks in polio-free countries of the region, and as many as 200,000 new polio cases annually within the next ten years worldwide.

FIMA is now part of a strong global commitment to eradicated polio and the extraordinary investments made by national governments, international development agencies, multi-lateral organizations, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector, in particular the generous financial commitments by the Islamic Development Bank, the Saudi Fund for Development, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, the governments of the Republic of Turkey and Brunei-Darussalam.

It is high time that all Islamic religious and community leaders shall provide a strong message of support for polio eradication activities and the need to ensure all children are fully immunized against polio and all other vaccine-preventable diseases; the mobilization of all levels of civil society to overcome any remaining cultural, societal, political, or security obstacle currently preventing all children from being reached and immunized against polio, especially in areas of insecurity.

We have to ensure that all public and civil society leaders assures the safety and sanctity of frontline health workers to perform their heroic tasks in complete safety and security; and all Member States to help mobilize the necessary financial resources from governments, civil society, foundations, the private sector, and multi-lateral institutions, to enable the full implementation of all polio eradication strategies.

FIMA acknowledge and appreciate the tireless efforts of the millions of health workers, staff of the Ministries of Health, and partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and pledge to deliver a world free from polio for all our children.

We will strive and play our supportive role in this war against this deadly disease till it is eradicated completely from the face of this earth.

Dr. Tanveer Zubairi
FIMA President

All the praises to Allah Subahanhu wa Tallah for HIS endless bounties and his mercifulness. FIMA and IMASA concluded their 30th council meeting and 33rd scientific convention in Cape Town, South Africa.

Both the events were a great success and gave an unsurpassed opportunity to the IMA delegates from 23 countries to meet and interact with each other and to learn and share their experiences. It is not an easy task to manage such an extensive, large scale, and high-end budget activity without the concerned efforts of an exceedingly motivated team of focused and dedicated workers.

Alhamdulillah, FIMA and IMASA joining hands with each other stood the test of time and the meetings have been ranked as one of the best FIMA meeting held in so many years.

The elections for FIMA exco were also conducted and I was bestowed upon the responsibility to act as elected President FIMA for 2013-15. I feel it as a very challenging and responsible undertaking to oversee and supervise the ever expanding affairs of a very proactive and vibrant international organization of Muslim Physicians having a glorifying history of 32 years of acting as an umbrella body of Muslim Physician bodies working globally.

At every step I need your support and prayers; I also pray to Allah SWT to grant me enough strength, energy, vigor, and feel of Iman to accomplish this uphill task.

I am so indebted to all the delegates who traveled from around the corners of the world to attend these meetings. The attendance and active participation of delegates were exemplary. Our local hosts; IMA of Cape Town also extended the best hospitality to their guests and families and made this event a memorable part of their lives.

In the working of FIMA, although our conventions are very important and are the main hub of our activity and working. However, for the IMAs the period which lapses between the two yearly conventions are most important.

I am sure all of our members / associate members IMAs have started their routine activities In addition, a number of IMAs also pledged to boost their student chapters and start relief ativities on their end. Kindly feel free to ask FIMA exco for any assistance, guidance, or support in any of these projects.

In 2014, FIMA exco has decided to collaborate and jointly organize the 31st council meeting and scientific convention with IMA of North America in Arusha, Tanzania.

The dates have been finalized and it will be held from 6th-10th August 2014. We have a very young IMA in Tanzania, which has joined FIMA only last year. The arrangements for FIMA council meeting and scientific convention are equally challengins.

I am sure all the IMAs will plan ahead of time to join this historic moment. Tanzania is blessed with most scenic views of nature and is very famous for safari and gaming tours, which will be and added attraction for the delegates.

The FIMA e-newsletter has started its 5th year of e-publication, I request all of the IMAs to circulate this newsletter to all the Muslim Physicians and allied health professionals in their respective countries and also send the FIMA secretariat an update of their activities.

Dr. Tanveer Zubairi
FIMA President