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Tisserdimine, beloved village

Cœur de Gazelles

Off to a running start

The 2019 edition of the Cœur de Gazelles caravan is underway! The team is up very early this morning as the first setup always takes a little longer.

Little by little, everyone finds their place and the caravan is ready to welcome the first patients, who are rather shy. The flow of patients intensifies as the day advances.

The GPs already know their first patient: Youssef, 57, who came to see them last year for pain behind his left knee. This time, osteoarthritis has transformed the pain into a small mass. An ultrasound is required and the diagnostic is a popliteal cyst (a swelling containing liquid). Nothing serious but it needs treatment: the cyst is punctured and drained. Youssef leaves with a smile and the doctors are satisfied at having provided relief.

After several minor consultations, they encounter a new serious case. Zohra, 54, is consulting for significant pain in her lower limbs. She has been suffering for 4 months and unable to walk for about a month: her functional disability is combined with paresthesia, provoking tingling in the legs and preventing her from getting around without support.

Zohra is transferred to the Errachidia hospital, where she can have a scan to determine the exact cause of her problem and receive appropriate treatment. While waiting for the test results, Abdel, the Cœur de Gazelles doctor who treated her, treats her symptoms and gives her a walker from the donations unit.

This enables Zohra to get around by herself while waiting for more in-depth treatment.

No rest for our doctors!

The GPs are not the only ones at work: at the end of the day, the surgeons get their scalpels out. A young woman of 25 has presented with a lipoma in her back. A lipoma is a benign tumor, not dangerous but requiring excision (ablation).

After reassuring the patient, the surgeons prep her for surgery. Despite the conditions, the operation goes smoothly and the patient leaves extremely relieved.

Once the final consultations are over, it is time to pack and load the material and equipment. The team has earned a good night’s rest!

Patient triage

This first day of the caravan offers something new: it is the first day the software developed by CBA Informatique will be tested in the field. After spending some time installing the necessary equipment, the verdict is in: the program runs like clockwork!

As patients arrive, the program become increasingly easy to use. A few more days will be needed to completely master the system, but the volunteers are delighted: as well as saving time, it will be much easier to transmit information.

The team of nurses in charge of patient triage have a key role in the process. They are responsible for identifying patients’ medical needs and prescribing appropriate medical consultations.

The program is used to assign patients to the consultations they need; the patient’s information is then automatically transmitted to each medical specialty in question.

Following the consultation, the doctor completes the patient’s file (diagnosis, drugs prescribed, follow-up needed…), providing a complete summary of the patient’s visit to the caravan.

In addition to facilitating patient triage in the field, the CBA Informatique software will simplify and support patient follow-up throughout the year. Some patients require further care; after the caravan Cœur de Gazelles, will continue to assume responsibility for these patients until the end of the treatment prescribed.




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.