Why We Work in Mali
Landlocked and arid, Mali is one of the largest countries on the African continent. Ethnic uprisings and a jihadist insurgency in the north continue to undermine the country’s stability despite a 2015 peace accord and the presence of UN peacekeepers.
Mali’s high fertility rate–the third highest in the world–has been virtually unchanged for decades, due to its young population, early marriage practices and lack of female empowerment. Less than one quarter of all women can read or write.
Widespread poverty—combined with the country’s political unrest—exacerbate the challenges that women face in accessing maternal health care. Most women give birth without a medical professional present, placing them at greater risk of developing obstetric fistula. With poor road conditions slowing patient transport, access to fistula treatment also remains a challenge. Security concerns continue to destabilize the center and north of the country, further compromising the delivery of fistula care in these regions.
Meet Our Partners
We are currently partnering with Women and Health Alliance International (WAHA) to deliver fistula treatment to women in Mali. Mali’s national referral hospital for fistula care, Point G à Bamako, has been equipped to provide repair surgery since the 1990s. Demand for treatment, however, has continued to outstrip the hospital’s capacity, meaning many women in need of fistula repair surgery go without. WAHA’s aim is to work with medical teams on the ground to expand the hospital’s fistula treatment services.
In addition to funding surgeries for more women, WAHA is working to strengthen treatment services, even for the most advanced cases, through surgeon and staff training.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Health and its national health infrastructure, WAHA is also establishing outreach networks and new strategies for reaching and treating women in the northern regions of the country, where most cases with fistula occur.
Women and Health Alliance International
- Grant pending for FY 2019