The Medical Caravan - Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles
Marina Vrillacq, Chairwoman, Heart of Gazelles
Heart of Gazelles is a nonprofit organization associated with the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles. It was created to spread the values of this off-road rally: support, sharing and mutual assistance. Morocco’s Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles is the only sports event with a royal warrant. Supporting the medical caravan as part of Heart of Gazelles has earned us the gratitude of the government, the Health Ministry, the Solidarity Ministry. Of course we do everything in agreement with them. We don’t interfere. It really is a case of contact and collaboration.
Dr. Jean-Pierre Gardair, Chief Medical Officer, International Medicine, Total
Initially, my role was just to observe the medical caravan and see whether anything could be improved. But it really spoke to me. I'm really glad to be here, this time participating more directly in consultations and treatment.
ITW Patient: There’s a pharmacy, medication, treatment, because people can’t afford to go find a doctor. And it’s good for the region.
Chantal Vitteli, Manager, Medical Caravan
I competed in the rally. After a few races, a Moroccan colleague and I decided to create a medical caravan to reach out to the people. We started with around 2,000 patients in 2003; today we reach about 7,000 thanks to Total and its corporate philanthropy. People have heard about us; they’re waiting for us; they expect us.
Khasouale, March 26
Dr. Aziz Zaoui, Physician
We got to this small village this morning. It has a school. Fortunately, there are four classrooms, so we were able to set up a separate room for each specialty.
Khalid el Baji, Pharmacist
There are services for men, services for women, gynecology and pharmacology. So there’s a special circuit that ends here at the pharmacy. I’m the end of the line, dispensing the medication.
Itw Aziz Zaoui
We see a lot of common diseases related to poor hygiene. That’s why we wanted to do an awareness class; that’s really important. Education is very important, even more important than a prescription.
Dr. Francine Vankeerberghen, Gynecologist
Seeing patients in places like this is very different from the way things are at home. But what the women want is to be reassured. So we provide a lot of information, prevention, contraception, but most of all information because there's a lot they don't know.
Itw JP Gardair: Total’s support improved the organization of the medical caravan and made it possible to go deeper and deeper south, to more and more remote villages.
Itw Marina Vrillacq: The challenge going forward will maybe be to broaden our initiatives, broaden the specialties that we have today, but also maybe go even farther. Maybe travel more. We don’t need to increase the number of physicians right now. Maybe in future, but maybe in other specialties. You always have to look at what you’re doing, ask yourself questions. If we see a lot of leishmaniasis, maybe we’ll strengthen the dermatology component next year.
Itw Patient: This is the first medical caravan to come to our village. We’re really happy they’re here.
Itw Elderly Patient: I’d like to thank the organization for coming here to treat me. God bless them.
2013 Medical Caravan
9,085 boxes of medication
Itw Francine Vankeerberghen: It was wonderful, a great experience. I hope it keeps on going for a long time. I think we’ve done a lot for the people in our areas.
Itw Khalid el Baji: Inshallah, we’ll be back next year, wanting to do even better, because we can always do better.
Itw JP Gardair: It was really intense, we did a lot, we travelled a long way and it brings hope. We want to build on what's already been accomplished. We’re really pleased.