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 identify local surgical teams in Mali already successfully treating women with fistula—and then work to amplify their efforts.