Mali: Improving malaria and cholera care

Since 2000, MSF has been conducting mobile surgery in central Mali's Mopti region to combat its high prevalence of eye illnesses.

Partially in response to malaria research carried out by MSF, Mali adopted in 2005 a new treatment protocol that calls for highly effective artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). In the rural commune of Koumantou, in the Sikasso region, MSF had found high levels of resistance (90.5%) to the drug chloroquine, which was being used to treat those with malaria. The MSF team discussed its results with government officials and strongly recommended the switch to the more effective treatment.

Between August 2003 and October 2004, a cholera epidemic spread along hundreds of kilometers near the river Niger. More than 4,200 cases were reported, and 324 people died. By sending mobile teams to treat victims and pre-positioning equipment and medicines in at-risk zones, MSF helped to curb the epidemic.

In the northern town of Gao, MSF helps to manage the Sahel Formation nursing school and provides technical support to its teachers. The school prepares health staff including nurses and midwives for Mali's three northern regions.

In 2004, in the district of Sélingué in the Sikasso region, MSF continued to work in four health areas that serve some 70,000 people. The organization assisted in the management of health structures and helped to upgrade the quality of care. The success of this project led MSF to start a new project in the Bougouni district of the same region in May 2005.

From 1996 to 2004, MSF supported the management of health structures in the Gao region's desert district of Ansongo. At the end of 2004, MSF transferred these activities to a Malian association to promote local leadership in monitoring the delivery, quality and accessibility of health services in the region.

Since 2000, MSF has been conducting mobile surgery in central Mali's Mopti region to combat its high prevalence of eye illnesses. The team removes cataracts, corrects trichiasis (a condition in which the eyelashes grow inwards) and treats those with trachoma (a viral disease that can cause blindness). Having supported efforts to extend the cataract program to the Ségou region MSF handed these activities to local authorities at the end of July 2005.

MSF has worked in Mali since 1992.

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