The Islamic Medical Association (IMA) of South Africa has recently inaugurated a new president, Solly Suleiman. Suleman, who is a pharmacist by profession, boasts an impressive history with the organization that spans over 25 years. He has worked within numerous sectors of the organization, more notably, strategic planning and strategic development. He currently co-chairs the renal dialysis programmes and chairs the Ahmed Al-Kadi Private Hospital and the Baytul Nur Trust, which is the social wing of the IMA.
Suleman said that during his tenure he will focus on developing a cohesive strategy that will encompass all branches of the organization.
The organization was established during apartheid in response to a need within the Muslim community for a vision for Muslim health professionals to deliver affordable and effective healthcare in disadvantaged communities.
The IMA is associated to the Federation of Islamic Medical Associations (FEMA), which includes approximately 37 countries worldwide.
Besides publications, the organization currently boasts clinics country wide.
IMA clinics have numerous projects, including; circumcision, cataract extractions, and within SA the organization has provided dialysis to over 250 patients.
“Dialysis patients who are not provided with dialysis in the public sector are essentially sent home to die. The IMA then funds dialysis and it is a unique model where they fund medical aid too. So within 12 months the patient is on medical aid,” Suleman said.
Suleman said that the organization is currently establishing an Islamic hospital in Durban, as well as a 15 bed dialysis unit to care to the needs of the disadvantaged communities.
Every two years, the National Executive Committee of the IMA changes from one area to another. The last Committee was in Cape Town and for the next two years the Committee will be in Durban and, thereafter, it will be in Johannesburg.
He further noted that the organization has a membership of approximately 1500 health professionals. And hopes to attract 10 000.
“We are not the healers; we are instruments of the greatest of healers, the Almighty,” Suleman said.