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An unplanned day of rest!

Cœur de Gazelles

Day off for the Cœur de Gazelles team

Sad news awaits the caravan’s volunteers this morning: due to heavy rains during the night and the uncertain condition of the desert roads, the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles management decided to cancel today’s competition leg and Cœur de Gazelles leg.

The route to the village of Outtara, where the caravan was scheduled to set up, is in a bad state and it would be risky to allow the vehicles to attempt it. The Cœur de Gazelles truck, which set out early in the morning, got stuck in the mud and was forced to turn around.

The Cœur de Gazelles team is devastated at the news: it is a very difficult decision to cancel a leg of the caravan, because many people count on the caravan’s annual visit. Unfortunately, the risk is too high, and the caravan still has work to do in the days to come. Today will be a day of rest, well deserved after the intense start of this year’s edition.

Come back tomorrow for a further report on the caravan’s activities!

The dental unit

The dental unit is made up of 4 people. Johanna, Hicham, Jean-Christophe and Géraldine are always cheerful despite their sometimes difficult working conditions. Their team is one of those that receive the largest number of patients, and the care they provide can be quite delicate.

Hicham, the only Moroccan dentist, handles the translation: the hardest thing is to put the patients at ease, because dental consultations are rarely pleasant. Despite the language barrier, the dentists manage to clearly understand the patients’ needs. Hicham is a valuable help, and the team very good at explaining, which quickly reassures the patients.

They are treated under local anaesthetic and feel no pain; once they have understood that, their apprehensions disappear, and the exchanges become simpler.

The equipment is carefully sterilized before and after each intervention. And these interventions can last quite a bit longer than expected: patients are not always fully aware of their symptoms, and one extraction often becomes 3 or 4!

The deeper the caravan travels into the remote regions of southern Morocco, the more difficult it is for the local populations to have access to health care. The patients who visit the caravan take advantage of its presence to receive as many examinations as possible. A patient who comes to consult a specific type of doctor generally receives 2 or 3 additional consultations. The volunteers are committed to being as effective as possible, and to provide as much benefit as possible to the people they meet.




Dominique Serra has dedicated this 29th edition to Nasrin Sotoudeh – prominent Iranian lawyer and human rights advocate – who has been sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes for “inciting corruption and prostitution” by defending women who took off their headscarves in public.

I encourage everyone to sign the petition for her release.