The Rotaract Club Hippocrate from RD 9010, Morocco won with its MED Love project ”Medical Caravan” the third Prize during the Med MDIO Oustanding Project Awards 2016/17! The Club received its citation during the Mediterranean Convention (MEDICON) 2017 which took place in Makarska last April! Below you can find Information about the winning project!’
”Service above self”, Rotary International’s motto : it was the first thing we learned as Rotaractors. In addition to the fact that doctors have to be selfless along with making the patient’s health their priority, that pretty much gives you the reasons why medical caravans are so important to our club, Rotaract Club Hippocrate.
As you may or may not know, we are a 7-year-old Moroccan club, based in the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy of Casablanca. Our members are medical students from the 1st to the 7th year of medicine.
To this day, we have carried out 4 medical caravans, 1 each year since the very first one on March 9th, 2013, in the village of Ait Yadine, collaborating with our fellow Rotaractors from Rotaract FMPF (Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy of Fes).
Our goal is to give the people of isolated villages access to general as well as specialized consultations, also providing them the medication they need.
Diabetes, hypertension, cataract, everything has been screened. Indeed, ophthalmologists, cardiologists, gynecologists, dermatologists, endocrinologists came with the members of our club to the site.
Basically, this is how a caravan works: we hit the road Friday afternoon to arrive on Friday night. On Saturday, the ”real work” starts : the consultations last from 9 a.m to 6 p.m, and doctors tend to see from 500 to 800 patients at least at the end of the day (all specialties combined). Generally, the set of the caravan is at the school of the village, for it having distinct rooms for each specialty. On Sunday morning, we head back to Casablanca.
We always pick International Women’s Day or at least the day or week after this day because we want to diagnose breast and uterine cancer early: as a matter of fact, gynecological cancers are more common now than they’ve ever been, and Moroccan women who don’t have access to any education or primary health care don’t seem to know about it.
So it is really ”hitting two birds with one stone”: raising awareness on one hand and cancer screening on the other.
Moreover, in March, it is still pretty cold in Morocco and people living in the mountains and very far from the city are in big need of healthcare.
The 2nd medical caravan we did took place in the village of Sidi Brahim, near the snowy mountains of Ifrane, and the 3rd one was in the village of Had Kourt, near Sidi Kacem, both of these in collaboration with our fellow Rotaract FMPF.
For this 3rd medical caravan, we decided to add dentists to the team of doctors to fix dental cavities and raise awareness about teeth brushing importance to the kids.
And finally, the 4th edition of our caravan was the one we did this year in the village of Ait Ben Attou, near Ifrane, collaborating with Rotaract AUI (Al Akhawayn University).
As you might have noticed, we do have a tendency to pick snowy cold regions and it is precisely because in the winter, in Morocco, roads are blocked because of the snow: this means that people there don’t have any access to medical care during this season and the consequences can be terrible.
People living in the countryside and add on top of that in the mountains, are unaware of the diseases they might have because of their long distance from a countryside hospital.
All of these people, from children to adults, without forgetting the elderly, are poor and can barely afford to buy a bus ticket to go to the hospital if they’re really ill. This is why we go to them, to deliver the healthcare they need, and to really feel closer to our duty as future doctors.
The human experience is incredible : there is nothing such as having people thank you and pray for you for providing them medical care.
We come out of this experience every time with a great feeling of satisfaction, of a good deed being done.
And this is the essence of Rotaract, service.
Past president and Sergeant-at-Arms of the Rotaract Club Hippocrate.
The moroccanRotaractor Imane Lamine receives the Award from the Med MDIO President Paul Sampatakakis during the MEDICON 2017 Croatia.