The Althea Foundation organized an optical and dental care campaign on March 10 and 11, 2016 in partnership with the Ministry of Health serving the town of Ribat El Kheir and its surroundings. Joining the campaign were 27 American students studying abroad with the School for International Training (SIT) Switzerland: Global Health and Development Policy program. The students spent a week in Morocco as part of their educational excursion, which combined academic and cultural components. The students participated in various workshops to learn more about Moroccan culture (including preparation of traditional couscous and harira [a famous Moroccan soup], creating a mural in a painting workshop and visiting a local maternity ward).
The students additionally lent a helping hand during the campaign, demonstrating great interest in the actions of the foundation. The campaign targeted all primary school students in the rural commune of Ribat El Kheir as well as the rural communities of Ighzerane, Adej, Tafgikht and Dar El Hamra (where we stayed in the school Massira Al Khadra). Thanks to the excellent organization of the local association Bouiblane Culture and Development and the support of the local delegations of health and education, 2,197 primary school children were screened for visual acuity prior to the campaign. Of those, 312 were examined using a refractometer, and 144 were fitted for free glasses. One cataract was also discovered in Ribat El Kheir, and will now be followed and monitored by a volunteer ophthalmologist from the Sefrou province, present at the campaign.
In addition to the optical and ophthalmological component, 832 medical consultations were carried out, including 532 dental consultations. A total of 2,197 toothbrush and toothpaste kits were distributed to children during oral hygiene awareness sessions and 100 prescriptions were issued, with a drug supply on site.
Despite the freezing cold, the atmosphere was very warm thanks to the smiles and joy of the children and the evening songs of the girls at the school.
We would like to thank again all those who participated in the campaign for making it a real success!