After consulate bombing, Libyan doctors getting help in Seattle

Feb 14, 2013

The rocket attack in Libya that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens gets plenty of attention in Congress. But, not many have heard about a global health project Stevens left behind.

When Stevens was murdered last Sept. 11th in Benghazi, Libya, he had a meeting scheduled with a group of doctors the very next day, Sept. 12th. They're trying to setup Libya’s first modern 911 system.

Now, Stevens' sister, in Seattle, is bringing a higher profile to that unfinished project – helping a group from Boston that’s working with the Libyan doctors.

Dr. Anne Stevens, a pediatrician and medical researcher at Seattle Children’s, says she’s never been involved with international aid work before. But, she wants to make sure her brother’s murder in Libya doesn’t put a stop to his goals.

"The biggest health problem in Benghazi right now is trauma. They have over 25 fatal automobile accidents a day," says Dr. Stevens.

The FBI interrogated the Libyan doctors on their arrival in the U.S. Details about that incident and more about the medical mission are  at KPLU partner Humanosphere, where Tom Paulson quotes Dr. Stevens:

“My brother really believed in Libya’s future,” Stevens said. “I don’t think we knew how bold he was being, or how dangerous it was. But he was passionate about the country’s possibilities after the revolution. He was excited to be a part of history in the making…. We want to keep that going.”

Dr. Stevens explains in more detail why emergency response and poisonings are big concerns in Libya -- click "listen" above.


Three doctors from Benghazi are visiting Seattle this week, and Dr. Laila Bugaighis, assistant director general of Benghazi Medical Center, gives a public lecture on Friday at 3:30 pm, on the University of Washington campus (Health Sciences Building, Room T-625)