Training Traditional Healers to Fight Malaria in Mali

Malaria has severe impacts on the children and pregnant women of Mali—in fact, it’s the single greatest cause of mortality among children under five. Since traditional healers are often the first to be consulted to aid the sick, it’s crucial that these healers have the skills to diagnose the disease early and move rapidly to manage and treat it. With lead partner CARE, IntraHealth International recently began training traditional healers to fight malaria through the USAID-funded Keneya Ciwara II project.

At an initial session in the district of Ségou in June, the project trained traditional healers to recognize signs of serious malaria cases, and explained the benefits of referring these cases to adequate health facilities. Through illustrated presentations, role plays, experience-sharing sessions, and knowledge assessments, the 16 participants learned about the prevalence of malaria in their respective communities, and of their own roles and responsibilities in helping to reduce malarial infections and deaths.

A total of 260 traditional healers will be trained in 13 sessions throughout project-supported regions. By improving the referral process and building strong ties between health centers and traditional healers, this initiative is expected to reduce the impact of malaria in Mali.