A severe magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck western Morocco around 23h on September 8, 2023. The earthquake heavily damaged parts of the ancient section of Marrakech and devastated several rural, hard-to-access communities in the Atlas Mountains. Tragically, more than 2,900 people were killed and 5,500 people injured in the earthquake and its aftershocks. Among those affected are pregnant women who have lost relatives, friends, and homes and who are being forced to put their health at risk as they are trying to find refuge.
Immediately after the earthquake, ICM contacted our midwifery associations in Morocco, including the Association Marocaine des Sages-Femmes (AMSF). Midwives, as always, are providing support on the ground, working in the affected areas to support births, do postnatal follow-ups and provide emergency care for pregnant women. Midwives are also working with partners to distribute female dignity kits.
Midwives like Maria Benbrahim, who works at the Talt Nyacoub Birth Centre in the Marrakech Safi region in the Al Haouz mountains, didn’t hesitate to offer emergency services shortly after barely escaping death herself from a collapsed office building. Thanks to a colleague, she was rescued in the hours following the earthquake.
Having just emerged from the rubble, in just a short time, she assisted two births, one of which involved twins, and looked after many of the injured, with courage and dedication despite her own injuries and trauma. Maria is just one example of the many midwives who use their skills to save the lives of women, babies and community members in emergencies.
ICM will continue to be in contact with the AMSF and to provide support and assistance in the recovery period after this tragic natural disaster. If you would like to help, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.