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Mali has a critical shortage of qualified health workers. Those it does have are concentrated in urban areas and the southern part of the country, leaving rural and northern communities particularly vulnerable to health threats. Early marriage and the obstetric risks of adolescent pregnancy, maternal and child deaths, pneumonia, and malaria are common and access to and use of family planning methods are low. And while Mali has made progress, political unrest and the violent takeover of its northern regions by extremist rebel groups in 2012 threatened to reverse that progress.

But Malians are resilient. Since the crisis ended in 2013, IntraHealth has been working hand in hand with our local partners to regain lost ground and to improve access to high-quality maternal and child health, family planning, and malaria services.

Together with the Malian government, we have:

  • Improved health worker education and training using performance improvement and competency-based approaches.
  • Strengthened a model rural nursing school in Gao.
  • Improved accessibility and quality of family planning counseling and maternal health services.
  • Strengthened services for repair and prevention of obstetric fistula.

Key Results

8 regions and the district of Bamako are using iHRIS Manage to track, manage, and plan their health workforces.
30+ women per month are receiving treatment and care for obstetric fistula.
200+ students received scholarships to continue their education at Gao Nursing School.

Selected Achievements

Demonstrated in a pilot study that auxiliary midwives called matrones, can safely and effectively perform active management of third stage of labor (AMTSL). IntraHealth helped Mali update its national policies and procedures accordingly.


Developed a comprehensive model for treating and caring for women with obstetric fistula in Mali, including pyschosocial and community reintegration support.


Successfully treated 1,000+ women suffering from obstetric fistula in Mali.
Partnered with the Gao School of Nursing in remote northern Mali beginning in 2006 to create a model training school that graduates health workers more likely to serve in rural areas. In 2011, 95% of health workers in the north graduated from Gao.
In 2012, the Gao School of Nursing in Mali closed its doors after rebels took over the city, imposed sharia law, and looted the school. When the crisis ended in 2013, we worked alongside our local partners to reequip the school and refill its classrooms.


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