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Daily portraits: the gynaecology unit

Cœur de Gazelles

The importance of the gynaecology unit

As women are an important focus of the actions put in place by Cœur de Gazelles throughout the year, it was an obvious step to create a unit dedicated to women within the medical caravan.

The gynaecology unit is one of the most discrete specialties of the caravan: the doctors work out of sight to provide the patients with complete privacy.

As modesty is an inherent part of their culture, they need calm, private surroundings to feel at ease. The two Moroccan midwives act as liaison between patients and gynaecologists, making it easier to communicate and helping to establish trust.

The volunteers share the work: the midwives report symptoms to the gynaecologists, and they establish a diagnosis together. The midwives take care of obstetrics (everything related to pregnancy and the mother-child relationship) while the gynaecologists focus primarily on procedures relating to the breasts, uterus and ovaries.

In addition to offering consultations, the gynaecology unit also educates its patients and raises awareness in order to have a lasting impact (breast cancer detection, breastfeeding, contraception, personal hygiene…).

Presentation of the team

First name: Catherine

Occupation: Gynaecologist in Grenoble

Number of years with CDG: 6

Why did you choose Cœur de Gazelles? “Aziz (paediatric surgeon with the caravan) was looking for a new gynaecologist for the caravan. A former midwife with the caravan put out an announcement presenting the needs of the association. I immediately saw myself in the announcement and offered my services. I learned that I would be joining Cœur de Gazelles two months before the start of that year’s caravan.

I particularly appreciate the Franco-Moroccan cooperation within the team. The exchanges are very enriching and contribute to my personal and professional growth. Cœur de Gazelles is another way to discover Morocco while being useful.”

First name: Isabelle

Occupation: Gynaecologist-obstetrician in Briançon

Number of years with CDG: 1

Why did you choose Cœur de Gazelles? “Catherine is an old schoolmate. I didn’t know Cœur de Gazelles at all, but her enthusiasm made me want to learn all about it. The adventure aspect interested me, and I think the caravan is great. The contact with the people is pleasant, they are very touching. The gynaecology team is great, the energy was good right away. The midwives act as interpreters for us. I would like to do more!”

First name: Meryeme

Occupation: Midwife at the Fès hospital centre

Number of years with CDG: 2

Why did you choose Cœur de Gazelles? “I had a midwife friend who was supposed to join the caravan but wasn’t able to. She suggested that I take her place and I accepted. It’s a powerful experience! We share the same conditions as the people we meet, and it’s impressive to live this experience. There is a great ambiance within the team, we’re like a family because we spend so much time together.”

First name: Noura

Occupation: Midwife at Taroudant Hospital Centre

Number of years with CDG: 1

Why did you choose Cœur de Gazelles? “Aziz (paediatric surgeon on the caravan) asked me to come. I like volunteering, I had already dome some and I wanted to see what it was like at Cœur de Gazelles. It’s really an adventure. We share everything, like a family, and we also share our skills with the local communities, who really need us.”




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.