KARACHI: International Medical Relief Agency (IMRA), Medical Society, had successfully done cochlear implants in Pakistan from 2012 to 2021 and performed 80 middle ear surgery cases for discharging ears.
These statistics were shared by Dr Haroon Zafarullah, Chairman, IMRA, United Kingdom, Dr SM Qaisar Sajjad, Honorary General Secretary, IMRA, Dr Naveed Ahmed, skull base & cochlear surgeon, Dr M Shaukat Ali Malik, President (Pakistan Chapter), IMRA and Dr Ghafoor Shoro, General Secretary (Karachi), PMA, during a press conference held at PMA House.
Experts stated that IMRA Medical Society was a registered NGO in Pakistan. They highlighted that this NGO was working with IMRA, a registered charity in the UK. IMRA, UK, the parent organization (Based in Manchester, UK), was established in 2001 and consisted of mainly UK ENT surgeons and was involved in medical relief activities.
They further asserted that the earthquake in the northern areas of Pakistan in 2005 led to a change in its focus on work. Besides helping the earthquake Victims in Various ways, IMRA prepared a programme to help poor patients in Pakistan.
According to them, their press conference was mainly about another mega programme that started in 2012. Children who were totally deaf since birth or later on cannot hear so cannot develop speech; they are called “Deaf and Dump. These children cannot even hear with the most powerful hearing aids. They need a cochlear implant, which is a costly device made only in 3 countries, privately this operation costs between 35-45 Lacs nowadays.
This amount of money cannot be afforded even by middle-class people. IMRA charity started this programme for poor and deserving children in 2012 and had now done 100 cochlear implants in Pakistan. Each implant cost about $14,000, and the whole package, including two years of rehabilitation, can be about $25,000.
IMRA initially started operating cochlear implant at DOW University Karachi and then operated for five years at Indus Hospital and now operating at Memon Medical Institute Hospital over the last three years.
IMRA Charity also started this free programme in Islamabad and did two cases free worth over $35,000 at PAF Hospital Islamabad.
IMRA had done about 80 middle ear surgery cases for discharging ears at Indus Hospital, Karachi, different from the cochlear implant from 2014-2018. This middle ear surgery project was also started at Hashmani Hospital Karachi In 2019.
They further articulated that they had done over 500 free Major ear cases in 4 hospitals since 2008 (each case in private costs over Rs. 100,000). The Total amount of services and equipment donated since 2008 was worth over $2 Million.
IMRA Free Medical Facilities at Mirpurkhas Sindh: Established a middle ear surgery project in Mirpurkhas Sindh Province in 2008. Donated equipment worth over $100,000, including five operating Microscopes from the UK, to Civil Hospital, Mirpurkhas.
For 13 years, IMRA UK Team with local ENT surgeons operated on poor patients who could not afford to travel to Hyderabad or Karachi for significant ear surgery.
They acknowledged that their team operated from 12-16 December 2021 on 20 patients from interior Sindh this year.
The total number of patients operated on now stands to over 500. For the last three years, the team had been operating from Bhitai Welfare Hospital in Mirpurkhas as the ENT Department in Civil Hospital has no ENT surgeon. IMRA donated three new microscopes to Bhitai Welfare Hospital.