Associazione Sanitaria Internazionale

The Associazione Sanitaria Internazionale (International Medical Association) is a lay missionary organization for women in medicine that was founded in 1954 by Dr. Dr. Adele Pignatelli. It is located in Rome, affiliated with the Catholic Church, and an international non-governmental organization recognised by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is also a member of the Federation of Christian Voluntary Organisations (FOCSIV).

Women who join the Association take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and make a lifelong commitment to work in the service of the Church and provide medical care to greatly underserved people in developing countries.

Dr. Tarira, director of St. Albert’s, Drs. Julia Musariri and Neela Naha, and other St. Albert’s staff are members of the Association, which also holds the contract for running St. Albert’s. Other projects overseen by the Association’s projects include the following:

  • Working with sponsors and donors to support the operation of St. Albert’s home-based care and counseling program for people with AIDS, cancer and other chronic illnesses.
  • Coordinating the St. Albert’s orphan program with the children’s’ sponsors.
  • Operating the program at St. Albert’s nurses training program, a primary nursing program that prepares people to work as nurses in rural areas.
  • Running the 60-bed Amala Matha hospital and a rehabilitation center in Shimoga, Karnataka, India.

The Friends of St. Albert’s and the Association

Several people a year travel between St. Albert’s and the Association, affording opportunities for delivering donations to the hospital. The Association works with the Friends of St. Albert’s by accepting donations for the hospital and transferring 100 percent of those donations to St. Albert’s. They also accept parcels of donated medical supplies for St. Albert’s and ensure their safe arrive at the hospital.

A Millennium Challenge

By Elizabeth Tarira, MD, MPH, Secretary of the IMA

This millennium has a challenge: Caring for the ill in our disadvantaged villages. If God says, “Whom shall I send? Who will be our health worker to serve these sick people?”  If you answer, “Here I am, send me,” you may want to learn more about the International Medical Association (IMA).

The IMA is for women who want to give their life to Jesus for this noble cause.

  • The IMA is a society of lay women missionaries of the Catholic Church founded in Rome by Dr. Adele Pignatelli.
  • Women in the IMA live in small communities bound together by prayer, evangelical counsels, and working among the sick.
  • Their motto: “That they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Mt 5:16).

 Truly, our day is in want of dedicated, generous souls who work among the sick and bring Jesus silently to them in hospitals, rural clinics, laboratories, counseling centers, and homes. Doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, lab scientists, pharmacists, nutritionists, opticians, and other healthcare professionals are needed.

Is the Lord calling you? Do you want to know more?

Elizabeth Tarira, MD, Secretary IMA
St. Albert’s Hospital
Private Bag 9047
Centenary, Zimbabwe

To contact the Association
International Medical Association
Via delle Terme Deciane 5/a
00153 Roma ITALY
Phone: ++39 06/5743482

Visit the web site at

Written by Darrell Ward

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