WASHINGTON, DC, August 16, 2018 — Under the leadership of founding President, Dr. Hani Shennib, the National Council on US-Libya Relations will deploy a surgical team to Libya in early September. Based in Benghazi and Albayda, the team will examine patients and perform procedures – free of charge – from September 1st through 8th. The team will also expand Council contacts with beleaguered health service providers in Derna, a war-torn town in Eastern Libya that, until recently, was under the control of extremists. NCUSLR will conduct medical outreach in the regions of Tripolitania and Fezzan as well.
The NCUSLR surgical team brings vital skills and experience to this mission:
o Dr. Shennib is a distinguished cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon, and Professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. He has been regularly involved in providing essential medical services in Libya for the past seven years. Dr. Shennib has also consulted on healthcare models and projects in numerous countries including Bosnia, Kazakhstan, UAE, and Egypt.
o Dr. Abdulqadir Algazawi of Franciscan Health Indianapolis is an interventional cardiologist.
o Dr. Bert Fabisoff of Phoenix, Arizona, is a plastic surgeon who specializes in war trauma including maxillofacial reconstructions and burns.
Among the critically needed procedures the volunteer team will perform are vascular and heart catheter interventions and surgeries. The visit is coordinated with the Libyan Ministry of Health, and arranged at the local level with the Municipality of Benghazi, The Heart Center at Al Hawari Hospital, Benghazi Medical Center and other health facilities. The Council's medical team will be working through NCUSLR offices in Benghazi and Albayda.
“Libya's health sector received little attention under Ghaddifi and has deteriorated further after the 2011 revolution and the onset of open fighting in 2014,” stated Dr. Shennib. “Our mission is to address the most acute cases in Benghazi and Albayda, while learning more about the critical need in Derna, which has suffered from siege and on-going strife. We will also renew and intensify our outreach in Tripoli, Misrata, Sirt, Zintan, Sebha and other locations. The Council aims to return to the US with a better picture of where and how NGO's and donors can have immediate and more effective impact on the health sector in Libya.”
The National Council on US-Libya Relations is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC, dedicated to strengthening international engagement in Libya for a successful democratic transition. The Council is both a policy and project organization — with staff in Libya working directly with Libyans, as well as in Washington guiding policy makers and influencing public debate. Capitalizing on its wide network in and outside of Libya, the Council provides the public, institutions and policymakers in the US, Europe and Libya with information and perspectives on the country.
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