Multidisciplinary Medical Caravan Benefits Isolated Middle Atlas Village
Ifrane, June 13, 2012 – Al Akhawayn Azrou Center for Community Development organized the third installment of its Multidisciplinary Medical Caravan on June 2, 2012, in the village of El Orjan, in cooperation with the doctors’ association, EPODE (Ensemble pour le Développement et l’Environnement) and the local Wiam Association for Development, Education, and Heritage Preservation.
This year, the Medical Caravan moved to the isolated village of El Orjan, located 5 km away from the town of Outat Lhaj which is itself about 180 km east of Ifrane, in the Fez-Bouleman Region.
“We are pleased to see a large increase in the number of the beneficiaries of this Caravan this year,” said Malika Benbella, Director of the Azrou Center for Community Development. “986 people joined the campaign. This is quite an achievement for as small and isolated a village as this.”
The Caravan brought to the village medical experts who offered awareness campaigns in various medical specialties: pediatrics, ophthalmology, gynecology, cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, general medicine, and echography. Not only did the campaigns consist of awareness sessions, but they also provided an opportunity for El Orjan population to receive free consultations and, subsequently, free medicine. More than 100 people were prescribed glasses, and over 35 were diagnosed with cataract. A subsequent cataract surgery campaign would be organized in the village for the benefit of the patients.
The serious medical cases diagnosed during the Medical Caravan were referred to the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire of Fez.
In addition to these campaigns, medical experts offered free circumcision services to about 16 children from low-income families, and free workshop awareness sessions on birth control and HIV. More than 380 families also benefited from a clothes distribution.
“I learnt a lot in this campaign,” said Fatima, a 35-year old stay-at-home mom of three. “We hardly feel disconnected from all sorts of medical information, but the experts have effectively explained to us the specific health aspects that we should be aware of.”
For the first time in its recent history, Al Orjan benefited from the presence of medical experts, all volunteers from different parts of Morocco.
The Medical Caravan comes as a series of community service activities carried out by Al Akhawayn Azrou Center for Community Development in collaboration with local and international NGOs and institutions.
For the last eight years, the Azrou Center has been organizing between 4 and 5 specialized medical caravans every year in the region of Ifrane, Azrou, Ain Leuh, and around the Middle Atlas.
The Azrou Center was founded in 2002 with the help of donations by the Prince of Saudi Arabia, Abdelaziz Ibn Fahd. The Center’s mission is to contribute to the improvement of living conditions of the population of Azrou and its region at the social, medical, and educational levels. It is the social branch of Al Akhawayn University.