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Handicap International applauds Moroccan authorities’ earthquake response

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Handicap International (HI), an organization that has been present in Morocco since 1993, applauded the efforts of the Moroccan authorities in dealing with the needs of the Al-Houz earthquake-affected populations.

Working alongside Moroccan authorities, the aid organization delivered vital physical rehabilitation to earthquake survivors. However, it has been difficult to maintain continuity of care for survivors who have returned home because rehabilitation specialists and treatment are mostly concentrated in large cities, complained the organization.

Ensuring follow-up care for all Al-Haouz earthquake survivors, addressing those who missed initial treatment, and providing mobility aids, were the major challenges identified by HI.

For this reason, the organization decided to deploy mobile medical units called “caravans”. However, this mean also presented some challenges. “It always requires a significant amount of preparation and scoping to adapt it to the geographical area concerned and its population.”

The report further mentioned that practices were constantly refined to ensure high-quality care, with teams establishing a comprehensive care pathway, including referral, physical therapy, and mental health support.

The same source highlighted that the first caravan was deployed from 29 to 31 December 2023 in the communes of Sidi Bedhaj and Amizmiz, in Al-Haouz province.

The team comprised two physical therapists, two psychologists, and three CBR (Community-Based Rehabilitation) agents. Following the success of the initial caravan, six additional ones were organized, reaching over 210 individuals affected by the earthquake.

To cover a broad area, HI has collaborated with two Moroccan partners, namely the CBR network and an association called Migrations et Développement. Their efforts primarily focused on three provinces, namely Al-Haouz, Chichaoua, and Taroudant.

The CBR network consists of Moroccan rehabilitation professionals who work with HI as volunteers, while the Migrations and Développement Association employs humanitarian workers specialized in the community approach.

HI has trained community workers and relays to tailor their interventions for people with earthquake-related injuries and in post-emergency situations, customized to their staff’s profiles, says the report.

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