Country of Operation
Target income level
- Bottom 20%
- Primary care
SummaryMali Health was founded in 2006 by a Malian midwife and three women from Brown University. For ten years, Mali Health has worked alongside residents of Sikoro and other periurban communities in Bamako to improve maternal and child health and survival by improving access to basic primary care.
Mali Health improves maternal and child health and aims to eliminate maternal and child mortality. We ensure that mothers and children in Bamako receive high-quality primary care that they could not otherwise access, while working with communities and the health system to improve the way that care is delivered at the community level.
Key program components
Mali Health uses three different strategies to improve maternal and child health: improving families’ access to care, health promotion and preventive health education, and working to improve the quality and delivery of maternal and child care at the community level.
Action for Health is our oldest program. We provide children under age five from the poorest families with free or subsidized primary care to ensure they grow strong and healthy. We also provide pregnant women with subsidized pre- and post-natal care to ensure healthy pregnancies and safe deliveries. In addition to ensuring mothers and children receive all their essential primary care, we have a team of highly trained community health workers (CHWs) who visit enrolled families regularly to monitor health, growth and development. When needed, they will ensure that children and mothers will go to their health center, and will follow up with them after the visit. Finally, our CHWs also provide preventive health education to mothers about how to avoid common illnesses through good health behaviors. For over three years, we have reversed Mali’s high maternal and child mortality rates – we have not lost a single mother or child.
The Savings for Health program strengthens the ability of women to absorb the costs of seeking care in Mali’s decentralized, fee-based health system. It is a savings and lending program based on Oxfam’s successful Savings for Change and the tradition of the tontine. A team of community-based animateurs help mothers save for unexpected health expenses and access health loans in times of need, while also delivering preventative health education. Women can also access funds for small business activities, and we offer financial training to help women manage their finances. We also have a special savings program for pregnant women, in which we help subsidize the cost of facility-based delivery and ensure women receive all essential pregnancy care, called Savings for Health and Reproductive Empowerment, or SHARE.
Our Quality Improvement program arose after we learned from our program participants that access is not the only barrier that keeps families from seeking care at Centres de Santé Communautaire (CSCom). We work with health center staff and patients to improve management and operations in order to improve the delivery of maternal and child healthcare. Each health center is governed by an Association de Santé Communautaire (ASACO) made up of community members, and we strengthen their ability to manage their health centers effectively and efficiently, resulting in more maternal and child care services being available, and of a higher quality.
The obstacles to implementing health solutions and bringing them to scale are numerous.
- Mali HealthNot-for-profit
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