The Doctors Are In

These young medical professionals aren’t waiting for retirement to make an impact.

On January 26, 20 doctors, all members of Lions Club Doctors Unité in Casablanca, set out for Douar Ait Tamjat-Tagleft, a small village near Taroudant, a coastal city in the south of Morocco. Their mission, done in partnership with Moubadarat Al Khayr association of Béni Mellal, was to provide medical care for the residents of the village.

Doctors with Lions Club Doctors Unité discuss their action plan at a recent medical outreach project.

“Sadly, medical coverage in Morocco is particularly lacking,” says Lion Salwal El Jamali, communications director for the club. “Communities inside of cities have trouble getting the healthcare they need, ones in villages are sometimes completely cut out of the healthcare system and sometimes have to travel a long way in order to see even a primary care doctor.”

The Lions who attended this particular caravan had specialties ranging from general medicine to dentistry, to pediatrics, to gynecology, among others, and they treated approximately 800 people during the two-day visit.

Diabetes screenings are just part of the comprehensive medical care Lions provide on their service trips.

They also initiated an oral prevention campaign in the community, provided dental consultations and extractions for adults, and distributed medicine donated by members who are pharmacists.

The club also brought clothing and food baskets to hand out, and, as though they weren’t busy enough, began a redevelopment of the courtyard of the local primary school. “We did some painting and put up some bookshelves with books for a small library that the kids could have access to any time,” says Jamali.

The active club holds several humanitarian caravans each year, and always goes to a different area in need. They often work with local organizations to help identify the exact needs of the communities so they can plan accordingly.

Money for the projects comes from several fundraisers, including the “Run for Atlas,” which is a race through the Atlas mountains, and a soccer tournament called “Kick It for Hope,” which raises money for a special caravan dedicated to screening for ovarian and breast cancer.

“Nothing makes you more satisfied than the idea of knowing that we participated in relieving dental pain in a child, warming up a pregnant woman, or even helping an elderly man to gain autonomy,” says club president Manal Fattah.