Moroccan social media users have massively interacted with a campaign initiated by cancer-stricken Moroccans that went under the hashtag “I don’t want to die of Cancer, give us our right of free medical care”.
A few Moroccans with cancer began a campaign on Facebook lately where they shared their horrific experiences in public hospitals. The first videos gained traction among social media users, which encouraged other cancer-stricken Moroccans to post more videos.
In the videos, all the patients recounted stories where they not only complained about the poor services and the shortage of medical equipment, but they also blamed the bad diagnosis they received in the public hospitals for the deterioration of their health conditions. In addition, another common point among all patients is that they called on the King and Morocco’s Health Minister Khalid Ait Taleb to intervene and save their lives by giving them free access to medical care, as they could not keep up with the ridiculously high medication costs.
Scanner Appointment for 2021
In a video that went viral, a 33-year old lady with cancer, named Latifa, made a touching plea where she asked the people in charge at the ministry and the king to help her cover the expenses.
Recounting her story, Bahija said that after she was diagnosed with cancer in a public hospital, she needed a medical analysis in order to begin the chemotherapy. She was given a 3-month appointment, which was enough for the cancer to spread from a single tumor in her arm to other parts of her body.
Bahija talked about the inefficiency of the treatments she went through and stated that the more she went to the public hospital the worse she felts and the more cancer continues to spread. She added that she was prescribed drugs for her weak immune system that she could not afford.
To illustrate the dramatic the shortage of medical equipments and the huge number of people using them, she said that in 2018 she was given a scanner appointment for 2021.
“If you have cancer in Morocco, buy a coffin and await death”
Nihad, another cancer-stricken lady from the city of Safi also said that her medical condition worsened because of the neglect and the bad diagnosis she received in public hospitals. In a video posted to Facebook, the 30-year-old recounted she had been given a reference letter by a doctor to be checked by another doctor if she had a tumor.
“The doctor did not even examine me, he just looked at me and said ‘you can’t have a tumor, you’re too young to have a tumor. People with tumors can’t even move’ and sent me away.”
When she decided to go to a hospital in Marrakech, she was diagnosed with 3rd degree cancer. She stayed at the hospital for surgery but they kept postponing the operation for 9 days in a row, to realize that her situation exacerbated even more and that it was too late for surgery. Then, she was given a 4-month appointment to start chemotherapy.
Nihad who said that the breast-cancer TV campaigns “are just lies” revealed that she paid for the chemotherapy herself in addition to numerous other expenses to no avail: cancer has spread to her ribs and bones. Nihad added she now lives in severe pain and concluded:
“If you have cancer in Morocco, buy a coffin and await death.”
Ezzoubeir Jabrane is a writer, teacher and entrepreneur. He holds a Master’s Degree in Linguistic and Literary Studies. He has written a number of journalistic, analytical and academic articles in different fields. He’s worked as a teacher of Academic English at Hassan II University in Casablanca and a teacher of English for Engineering in the National Higher School of Arts and Craft (ENSAM), in addition to a number of other private institutions. Ezzoubeir is the founder of Exchange Lab and a founding member of International Morocco. His company Exchange Lab offers 3 services revolving around the use of English in the workplace: Business English & Language instruction, translation services, and content and multimedia content creation.