Get Involved

This project is as wide as it is deep in its outreach. Therefore participation is not just limited to Healthcare related talent. Anyone can participate and provide help as the needs span from tending to the flower beds to microsurgery and everything in between. Click here to find out more on who, why, and how to get involved.

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who are we

The Light of the World Hospital (LWH) is the first project of the Egypt Light of the World Healthcare Association (ELoWHA), an organization chartered in Egypt but with strong international roots. It is the product of over 15 years of healthcare (HC) exchange between Egyptian professionals & organizations and international peers, GOs & NGOs, providing clinical training and education, as well as charity clinical services, to improve the status of health and HC in Egypt, at all levels (clinical services, public health and training/education).
In the rest of this segment, we will summarize the global & local historic background and needs that led to the development of our project. Different landmarks of the journey leading to the building of the hospital will also be highlighted below. The rest of this website describes the three main hospital services: Social, clinical and academic; then it highlights the core features of the hospital, that make those services possible at the highest standards: The physical plant, the business plan and networking with modeling; all of which gives this project such unique value, worthy of your consideration and investment. Anyone can contribute to this unique opportunity to improve HC and HC training in Egypt and the region. (Please see the Participation section).

We are always looking for partners and supporters (individuals, family foundations &/or organizations) who see the value of what we are doing for HC in Egypt, especially for the most needy and marginalized.

In the first half of the 20th century, Egypt was known as a leader in healthcare, especially ophthalmology. Unfortunately, since then, the status of healthcare delivery, education and training has been progressively deteriorating in Egypt and many surrounding countries. Healthcare in Egypt (HCE) is now at a critical juncture and requires immediate attention by all stakeholders. So while the overall current status of HCE is challenging; left alone, the status of HCE is expected to further deteriorate, significantly. HCE suffers from the following problems (among others):

  • The quality of most healthcare providers is below the satisfactory level and the better ones are mal-distributed with significant centralization.
  • There are no systems in place for proper standardization, accreditation and certification.
  • Relying on ex-patriots for high quality services (the “import system”) has become much less available and reliable.
  • Relying on training Egyptian healthcare workers elsewhere (the “export” system) has resulted in brain drain in the past and is much less available in the present.
  • The present status of current healthcare training in Egypt suffers on many levels, most importantly:
    • There are government, university and private programs that remain uncoordinated.
    • There is a culture against training because many of the professionals who can train don’t want to share their source of income with "future competitors.” (Please see ACGME article)

This dire situation became evident to one of us after caring for a blind Egyptian baby who was blinded by a preventable and treatable condition. Febi Hanna was officially blinded by retinopathy of prematurity but in reality she lost her vision due to the lack of proper eye care in her country, Egypt. Her story inspired the creation of the Fellowship, Education and Board Certification International (FEBI) Project to train Egyptian eye doctors in a standardized, western style fashion so they can take better care of their patients and in turn train the future generations of doctors (Please see “Light out of Darkness” article.) That started our journey that exposed some of the challenges, mentioned above and below, and also allowed us to develop solutions.

Fortunately, Egypt has a high number of very smart healthcare workers who are very eager and motivated to learn and improve.

The permanent solution is healthcare reform on all levels, championed by the government as well as university and private programs and assisted by outside experts. This, at best, is a longshot and a very long term prospect… It is a very urgently needed solution but one that has not been even conceived yet.

In the meantime, we have started addressing some of these challenges through short-term campaigns for education and training, charity care and limited community development. International teams of healthcare professionals have donated time, talent and treasure to provide those periodic services over the span of the past decade.

The return on that investment was beyond our wildest imagination, with new clinical services established in several major Egyptian cities for the same time and with many of our trainees becoming trainers, both in Egypt and as far as North Korea and as close as Iraq, Jordan, Libya and Sudan. It is these successful experiences that prompted us to start this more permanent and unique solution.

The background, reviewed above has shaped how we are developing this solution into the future, not simply as a one time fix but rather as a model. The need for such approach becomes more urgent when the scope is zoomed out of Egypt to include the region and the world. That landscape is ever changing and demands further attention. (Please see the two articles on The Ever Changing Landscape of Healthcare In The World & The Ever Changing Geopolitical Landscape.)

The new model on which the LWH was built, took several years to develop and is by no means a finished product. The backbone on which most of the projects, listed below, were built is the FEBI project. It all started with a three month old blind baby from Assiut…She lost her vision due to poor HC and prevention, but she opened our eyes to the great need for healthcare education and training in Egypt and to the great opportunity for equipping healthcare professionals. Her name is Febi; so, in her honor we started the Fellowship, Education, Best practices and Integration (FEBI) project.

The various aspects of this project started attracting individuals and organizations from many national, academic, religious and ethnic backgrounds. Below, we will list three main examples of these projects and programs.

The projects listed below address different aspects of healthcare (clinical services, community outreach and development, as well as charity, education and training) but they all share many common features. They are all “long-term” projects that started as pilot projects. They all involved networking with religious organizations (Christian and Muslim), private, governmental and academic resources. This produced healing at all levels, resulting in peace and good will, even while wars and horrific acts of terror were raging in the region.

Finally, the fact that these projects have grown and not merely survived is proof of how sustainable this new model is, especially in bringing diverse participants together to build a larger and more permanent model.

1 - The No Child Left Blind (NCLB) - Integration Project

As Febi developed some vision and started the long road of rehabilitation in the United States, it became obvious that if the lack of such services in Egypt was going to be addressed, someone had to start somewhere.

So Febi’s mom, Dr. Sally (a cardiologist) and Dr. Nina Jabbour (a clinical pathologist) both went back to school for 2 ½ years and earned a masters degree in special education for children with visual impairment. They then established Integration, LLC in Egypt with the goal of finding, treating, rehabilitating and integrating children with visual impairment.

The No Child Left Blind pilot project was established in Assiut in 2013. In early 2017, this 5-year project, exceeded all its set goals in 4 years and now is expanding to other regions in Egypt and going beyond visual impairment to include mental disabilities. (Please see NCLB under Social Services.)

2 - The Standardized International Graduate Medical Activities (S I G M A) Project

In addition to Integration, the FEBI project helped us discover that at the root of the poor quality of the clinical services, in Egypt and many similar countries in the region, was a system of poor graduate medical education and training (or lack thereof). Only the extent of this problem varied as did the occult nature of the danger and cost to the patients.

We soon realized that all our efforts can be seen as a drop in the bucket when compared to the overall national needs and gaps plaguing healthcare education and training in Egypt and the region!

So we started a project emphasizing ways we can help government and university programs, country-wide, to improve the status of graduate medical education in Egypt, as well as in Lebanon and Macedonia…

So far we have sponsored several seminars and multiple workshops led by a task force representing many of the stakeholders and outside experts. We realize that this is just the first couple of baby steps on the long road to standardization, accreditation and certification. But that has also encouraged us to build a healthcare facility in Egypt (LWH) where we can practically demonstrate all the theoretical “Best Practices” we have been preaching about.

3 - The IPROF Program

After providing education and training during periodic campaigns, it became obvious that we needed a more formal training program for a more lasting impact. The International Post-Residency On-demand Fellowship (IPROF) program was then started and in a short time proved to be a great success, with academic recognition.

The need to create a model solution for the critical state of healthcare (HC) in most developing countries obviously required more than educational and clinical campaigns, and even more than a simple quick fix to the existing programs. It became clearly obvious, early on, that we needed to start our own training programs (albeit on borrowed grounds). This led to the formation of the International Post-Residency On-demand Fellowships (IPROF). The program was founded on the following principles:

  • The mission of the IPROF model is to provide sustainable, high quality national training with international support.
  • The goals are:
    1. To train healthcare professionals in their local communities, while using American standards in facilities, education, procedures and documentation (STANDARDIZATION)
    2. To verify compliance of the facilities and programs with strict evaluation (ACCREDITATION)
    3. To evaluate the adequacy of the curricula and the proficiency of the graduates, with written, oral and practical exams (CERTIFICATION)

Obviously, we could not initially launch this concept on a large scale so we started with general ophthalmology at the Maghrabi Hospital and the retina fellowship at the National Eye Institute (Roud El Farag) in Egypt. We used an American curriculum and American standards for the training and we also used Board-like standardized testing (written, oral and practical).

These programs proved very successful but their sustainability and growth were threatened by less than ideal control of all the components of the IPROF program in the host hospitals. That’s when the need for our own training grounds was confirmed.

The rest of this website contains details about the clinical, academic and social services that we will be offering, as well as the physical plant, business plan and administrative structure that would make it all possible. In addition there are segments about the uniqueness of this project, the networking and modeling and finally about getting involved.

Additional Reading

Residents Feel Gratitude…

Noel Jabbour, MD, MA

ACGME journal
Light Out Of Darkness

Nabil M. Jabbour, MD, FACS

The Dominion Post
The Ever Changing Landscape of Healthcare In The World

During the 20th century, healthcare witnessed more changes than in a millennium past.

Learn More
The Ever Changing Geopolitical Landscape

In approximately one century (1914-2014) the world has witnessed two world wars, each promising to end all wars and each leaving the world in a bigger mess than it was before.

Learn More
The Board of Education

(LPN program)

The Dominion Post