MedGlobal-PAMA team unifies to reduce gaps in Gaza healthcare

MedGlobal-PAMA team of volunteers in Gaza June 2019

The MedGlobal-PAMA team was exceptional in its diversity, professionalism, compassion, and sacrifices.

Muslims, Christians, Jewish, and Hindu physicians and nurses united as in their humanity and love of helping the most vulnerable. The team felt like family and our hosts made Gaza feel like home. Palestinian hospitality was phenomenal in spite of the hardships. 

Meet the MedGlobal-PAMA team!

Dr. Imran Akbar

Dr. Imran Akbar, an Indian-American Anesthesiologist from Chicago, Illinois led our surgical mission and was, as usual, the dynamo of the mission. He juggled training his Palestinian colleagues in regional anesthesia and portable ultrasound. Dr. Akbar also organized previous MedGlobal missions to Yemen, Lebanon, and Sierra Leone.

Dr. Suhail Sharif

Dr. Suhail Sharif, a Surgical Oncologist from Texas, performed multiple complex surgeries and trained his colleagues in Al-Shifa Hospital on new surgical techniques. He was nicknamed the “Shark” (Alhoot) for his extraordinary surgical skills. Dr. Suhail also joined us in Yemen and Sierra Leone. He will lead our next mission to Yemen this October.

Dr. Arti Garg

Dr. Arti Garg, an Indian-British Colorectal surgeon from London, UK, performed several difficult laparoscopic colectomies for cancer patients who otherwise would not have had the operations she performed in Gaza. She was exceptionally systematic. She is originally from Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, where a large Hindu pilgrimage is held every year.

Dr. Buthaina Jabir

Dr. Buthaina Jabir, an Obstetrician-Gynecologist from Chicago, Illinois, whose late father was from Tulkarm (a Palestinian city in the West Bank), visited her ancestral home for the first time. She carried two bags loaded with medical instruments and supplies for her Palestinian colleagues in Naser Hospital. 

Dr. Azeem Elahi

Dr. Azeem Elahi, Pulmonary & Critical Care Specialist from Charlotte, North Carolina, participated in both ultrasound training and critical care courses. He also performed bronchoscopies. Dr. Elahi said that since he was a child growing up in Toronto, he prayed for the Palestinian people. His dream to visit Palestine came true.

Dr. Nimra Sarfaraz

Dr. Nimra Sarfaraz, a Nephrologist in Texas, provided much needed specialized care and additionally participated in providing both an ultrasound training and a critical care medicine course. Dr. Sarfaraz has previously served as a volunteer with MedGlobal, having recently served in the mission in Sierra Leone.

Dr. Baha Abu-Esheh

Dr. Baha Abu-Esheh, Palestinian-American Neurologist from Oklahoma, originally from Tulkarm, has relatives in Gaza. He treated patients and trained medical staff on new treatments of neurological diseases, especially headaches, in Nasser Hospital. His in-laws treated the whole team to a dinner of traditionally stuffed lamb in their family home.

Dr. Fadi Safi

Dr. Fadi Safi, Palestinian-American Pulmonary & Critical Care Specialist from Toledo, Ohio, is originally from Jerusalem, and a Board Member of our partner organization PAMA. He participated in Ultrasound training and the Critical Care course. 

Dr. Yousef Khelfa

Dr. Yousef Khelfa, Palestinian-American Oncologist from California, is the Vice President of our partner organization, PAMA. He is originally from Nablus and was everywhere making sure that all the details were taken care of. 

Dr. John Kahler

Dr. John Kahler, who went on risky medical missions in Aleppo and Yemen, assessed the Pediatric care in Nasser Hospital. He donated new textbooks and a portable ultrasound to the department.

Nurse Jan Kline

Jan Kline, a nurse from Vermont, worked with her Palestinian counterpart Mr. Emawi to assess quality improvement in Al-Shifa Hospital. She plans to start a new program to reduce patient falls at Al-Shifa Hospital. Her synagogue has been very supportive of the mission and raised funds for the mission.

Suzanne Akhras

Suzanne Akhras, Executive Director of Syrian Community Network, an organization that helps refugees transition to life in the United States, joined the mission as an interpreter but more than anything she wanted to visit the people of Gaza and be with them.

Heather Draper

Heather Draper, MedGlobal’s rock-star mission coordinator, worked 24 hours a day for 2 weeks to ensure the success of the mission. She planned the logistics meticulously in the month leading up to the mission. 

Dr. Zaher Sahloul

Dr. Zaher Sahloul, President & Co-Founder of MedGlobal and Critical Care Specialist, met with local authorities and medical professionals to discuss the healthcare situation in Gaza. As a clinician, he also provided education on the use of point-of-care ultrasound and in a critical care symposium.

Our Gazan coordinators were on task, warm, and welcoming. 

Every new mission leaves its mark on our spirits. We become one family. We gained 2 million brothers and sisters. We will miss them dearly. Until the next MedGlobal mission!

Donate to support future missions in Gaza today.