Tyne & Wear

Newcastle doctor Abubaker Akak returns to Libya

Dr Abubaker Akak
Image caption Dr Akak is returning to his home country of Libya to work in the emergency department of a hospital

A doctor from Newcastle is swapping the children's cardiology ward to help those caught up in the Libyan crisis.

Dr Abubaker Akak is leaving the safety of North Tyneside General Hospital to work on the emergency department of The Brothers hospital in Tripoli.

The consultant paediatrician was born in Tripoli and trained to be a doctor there before moving to Newcastle.

He now hopes to use his own skills, along with equipment donated by the NHS Foundation Trust, to treat the injured.

The 57-year-old's mother, brothers and other members of his family still live in the Libyan capital.

After training to be a doctor, he moved to Newcastle where he now lives with his wife and five children.

'People are suffering'

To help Dr Akak's plight, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is shipping out equipment to help treat the injured.

Dr Akak said: "The eyes of the world are on Libya at the moment where my people are suffering and I am so grateful to my colleagues who are sending me equipment and those who are giving up their free time to help me pack.

"I am so proud to work for Northumbria Healthcare where people are giving their time to help my people.

"The equipment will benefit those affected by the fighting."

Northumbria health trust chief executive Jim Mackey called for help from Northumbria's nine hospitals to give equipment that was nearing the end of its life.

He said: "This is a difficult time for everyone in Libya.

"We are pleased that this [equipment] will benefit patients who have been affected by the war in Libya."

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