ISSN 2330-717X

Morocco: Health Centers To Meet The Needs Of Underprivileged – OpEd


The rise in poverty in Morocco as in similar developing countries  is having direct consequences on the health of the population. The difficulties with regard to access to health are growing and people are putting of seeking medical help. These problems affect different social categories and concern all regions of the country.  The right to health has been advanced as one of the key elements to creating pro-poor people-centred health systems.

Today, King Mohammed VI inaugurated at the medina of Marrakesh, a primary health care center and an addiction center, two solidarity-based projects in line with the El Mellah neighborhood urban upgrading program.

The Moroccan Press Agency MAP reported that these projects are carried out by the Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity, the projects, whose building works were launched by the monarch on Jan. 10, 2017, stem from the royal will to reinforce the health offer via community-based and quality medical services that meet the needs of citizens, mainly underprivileged population.

They also mirror the sovereign’s solicitude for Morocco’s old medinas and his determination to ensure for the cities’ inhabitants an easy access to basic services to guarantee their well-being.

The primary health care center will promote access of the poor to medical care, speed up interventions in medical emergencies and fight against the medical monitoring irregularity which causes the worsening of the health condition of patients with chronic diseases.

Built over 630 square meters, the center is an integral part of an action plan conducted by the said foundation to back up the national medical sector, through a community health care offer that is accessible to populations and the integration of a global social approach in support of mechanisms for patients and beneficiaries.

It will meet the pressing need in terms of medical accessibility in a neighborhood that houses an important population and that possesses one health care center and a remote hospital.

Fruit of a partnership between the foundation and the health ministry, the new facility includes a medical emergencies unit (consultation, observation, care and plaster rooms) and a chronic diseases unit (cardiology, nephrology, ophthalmology, endocrinology).

It also includes a day hospital, oral care, radiology, vaccination and maternal health rooms, as well as a medical laboratory and a pharmacy. An awareness department was also set up to promote good health and hygiene practices.

The second project inaugurated by the Sovereign is the El Mellah neighborhood addiction center, the second of its kind carried out by the Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity in the city.

A privileged tool for care, awareness, diagnosis, prevention and psycho-social support, this center (worth 4 million dirhams) is part of a national program to combat addictive behavior implemented since 2010 by the Foundation, in partnership with the ministries of Health and the Interior.

This national program aims to protect young people from the use of psychoactive substances, improve the quality of care for addicts, particularly drug users, accessibility to care facilities, and encourage the involvement of civil society and social departments in addiction issues.

Like those carried out by the Foundation in Casablanca, Rabat, Oujda, Nador, Marrakech (Gueliz neighborhood), Tetouan, Tangier, Fez, Agadir and Meknes, the new addiction center aims to develop awareness and prevention actions against drug use, ensure individualized, medical and social care for people suffering from addictive behavior and work towards the effective involvement of families in prevention actions.

It is also meant to promote the social reintegration of the persons concerned, as well as the supervision and training of associations in the field of risk reduction.

With a covered area of 460 m2, the new facility includes a social support center (body and artistic expression room, computer room, sports room, community office), and a medical center comprising treatment rooms, general medical consultation, psychiatric-psychological consultation and addiction consultation.

The center is managed by the ministry of Health in partnership with the regional association “Baraka Idman” (Stop Drugs).

On this occasion, King Mohammed VI handed over, respectively, to the primary health care center and the addiction center, an ambulance and a mobile unit to be used for community-based interventions for drug users, for missions to establish contact, provide information, raise awareness of risks, provide means of prevention, and for the transport of target persons to their place of treatment.

These pro-poor health care centers will assure a continuing contact between low income patients and practitioners to improve both the use of health services and the health practices of the poor.

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Said Temsamani

Said Temsamani is a Moroccan political observer and consultant, who follows events in his country and across North Africa. He is a member of Washington Press Club.

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