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May 29, 2018

One Health for 200 Amazigh Women in Morocco- Project Update May 2018

Great participation from Tighanimine school
Great participation from Tighanimine school

Your support has been invaluable in making us achieve great progress and we have just returned from the field where we were preparing our next One Health intervention scheduled for September, with a massive dog rabies vaccination and awareness campaign in the project area in the argan Biosphere Reserve.

The overall objective of our project is to improve the health of local Berber women - the true custodians of the endemic argan forest - and their families, as well as that of their animals and their environment by addressing specific health challenges at the interface between humans, animals and the ecosystem.

Rabies is a critical issue as it is still endemic in Morocco, especially in remote rural areas where we are working. It is always fatal once symptoms have appeared and as such is the most dangerous zoonotic disease.

When we talked to children in schools in the project area, most of them had a story to tell us about themselves or about one of their friends having been bitten by a dog. Since dogs are not vaccinated, the only treatment is then for the kid to be taken to the nearest hospital, most often miles away, to receive post-exposure treatment which has to be repeated three times. An additional problem is the increasing population of stray dogs in the area, which have returned to a feral life and are now aggressive towards humans, especially children.

We are preparing the campaign with school teachers who are welcoming the project with great enthusiasm since our work will help protect children and their families against this fatal disease.

WE REALLY NEED YOUR HELP TO CONTINUE.

We are actively seeking more funds to continue our pilot project as indicated on our fund-raising chart.

Argan trees are everywhere, even in the school
Argan trees are everywhere, even in the school
Mar 2, 2018

One Health for Amazigh Women. Update March 2018

Preliminary One Health Survey
Preliminary One Health Survey

We started the project in the field last November with an agronomist undertaking a preliminary survey with Berber women working in nine cooperatives. The overall objective of our project is to improve the health of local Berber women - the true custodians of the endemic argan forest - and their families, as well as that of their animals and their environment by addressing specific health challenges at the interface between humans, animals and the ecosystem.

WE HAVE ALREADY OBTAINED SOME REALLY IMPORTANT PRELIMINARY RESULTS.

The first phase which consists in an in-depth One Health diagnosis of challenges at the interface is an absolute pre-requisite step to enable us to understand the interconnectedness between the human, animal and environmental health components. Our preliminary survey has already identified that important zoonotic diseases (diseases transmitted between humans and animals) affected livestock kept by families living in the argan forest and therefore represented a great risk for people handling these animals. These diseases include:

-       Bovine tuberculosis which is transmitted to humans through the consumption of contaminated milk or contact with infected animals. It is a very insidious disease with  non-specific signs which control requires to diagnose infected animals accurately.

-       Brucellosis which is also transmitted through consumption of contaminated milk and contact with infected animals but can be prevented through vaccination.

-       Rabies which is always fatal once symptoms have appeared but is one of the most preventable zoonotic disease through vaccination.

We also found that parasitic diseases were common in livestock and decreased their productivity while some were zoonotic and also represented a risk for people.

The women we interviewed did not seem to be aware of those risks. Over the next few months, we need to find out more about the transmission patterns of these diseases in the herds kept by families as well as the most appropriate preventive and awareness programmes to develop. We will also prioritize the most challenging health issues affecting women living in the argan forest. 

WE REALLY NEED YOUR HELP TO CONTINUE.

We are actively seeking more funds to complete the first phase of the programme as indicated on our fund-raising chart.

WHY NOT TRY YOURSELF ARGAN OIL?

If your donation exceeds $US300, you will receive as a thank you gift a 50ml bottle of 100% organic argan oil (cosmetic) produced by the women we are working with. It is very difficult to find truly pure and organic argan oil but this one has been produced under the strictest quality controls.

Argan Oil_Gift
Argan Oil_Gift
Dec 8, 2017

One Health with 200 Amazigh Women. Update December 2017

argan processing
argan processing

We are pleased to report that our One Health project with Amazigh women in the Argan Biosphere reserve in south-west morocco has been launched in the field. Our main objective is to improve the health of local communities, especially women who are the true custodians of the argan forest, as well as that of their animals and their environment by addressing specific health challenges at the interface between humans, animals and the ecosystem.

 WE HAVE STARTED THE PROJECT IN THE FIELD.

We have initiated the first phase of the programme which consists in doing a One Health diagnosis with professionals in the fields of animal health, human health and argan forest health. A young Moroccan agronomist has spent the last month undertaking preliminary interviews with women from argan oil cooperatives as well as with animal health professionals.

 Results from this survey will constitute the first baseline information available and will help us in developing the most appropriate methodology for the in-depth evaluation that is planned for next year. The agronomist  is a young woman from south-west Moroccco and as such was very well received by women working in the cooperatives.

 The key for One Health diagnosis is to build an underlying relationship based on trust with local women whom we will be working with. Otherwise we will not access real information from them. It must be remembered that women living in remote rural areas have poor access to health services so health records are most often very poor.  The only available information might be originating from the women themselves. Due to her cultural background, the young agronomist doing the field work has started to build such trust.   

 WE STILL NEED YOUR HELP.

We are still actively seeking funding for being able to complete the first phase of the programme as indicated on our fund-raising chart. If you happen to know anybody who might be interested in supporting our project, either as an individual or as a corporate business, please tell us to get in touch with us.

Preliminary Interviews
Preliminary Interviews
 
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