How we’re helping in Mali

Persistent insecurity has deteriorated the national health system

Patients and caregivers wait to see MSF doctors during a mobile clinic in Diafarabé, west of Ténenkou, Mali.
Mali 2018 © Lamine Keita/MSF
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Learn more about how we are responding to the coronavirus pandemic in Mali.

Insecurity in north and central Mali continued to disrupt health care and other public services in 2018, especially in rural areas.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is working around the country to improve access to health care in both rural communities and urban areas. 

consultations in 2018
treated for malaria


Central Mali’s Mopti region has become increasingly unstable, with frequent outbreaks of violence , both intercommunal and between the military and non-state armed groups. Many aid organizsations have stopped working in the region, meaning access to medical assistance is further curtailed.

We have teams working in Douentza and Ténenkou hospitals, and organizsing referrals from surrounding areas often affected by fighting. In August, we expanded our activities to three health centerres in remote areas of Douentza district, and sent ‘malaria agents’ to hard-to-reach communities in Ténenkou district to support our mobile clinics during the malaria peak, between July and December.


MSF projects in Mali

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In Ansongo town, Gao region, we support the local hospital with emergency care, surgery, maternal and child health care and neonatology. We provide medical and psychological care for victims of violence, including sexual violence, and organize emergency referrals to Gao hospital as required. We also provide care for pregnant women and children under five at a health center in town.

We run a community-based health care program in several nomadic sites in the surrounding district, to ensure that nomadic communities also have access to health care. The focus is on preventing, diagnosing, and treating the most common diseases affecting pregnant women and children. We also support the referral of cases from the community to primary health centers.

In April, when more than 700 sub-Saharan migrants expelled from Algeria passed through Gao city, we distributed around 500 hygiene kits and provided psychological assistance to 260 people.


North of Gao, we have been supporting the delivery of medical and mental health care in Kidal district since 2015, through two health centers in the town and four in the periphery. We also assist with epidemiological surveillance and referrals to Kidal hospital, and run a program similar to the one in Ansongo to address common diseases affecting pregnant women and under-fives in 30 nomadic camps.

In 2018, we carried out a multi-antigen campaign in partnership with the Ministry of Health and local authorities to vaccinate more than 10,000 children under five throughout the region.


In the south, we support nutrition and pediatric services at Koutiala hospital, where we completed the construction of a new 185-bed pediatric care unit in 2018. In addition, we have teams conducting a range of preventive and curative activities in health centers and communities, especially during the seasonal malaria and malnutrition peaks. By June, we were supporting 37 out of the 42 district health centers, with extra community workers deployed during the malaria peak. Our teams in Koutiala conducted over 160,000 outpatient consultations during the year.


In October, we started working with the Ministry of Health on the diagnosis and treatment of cervical and breast cancer. We are supporting the haemato-oncology unit at University Hospital of Point G, including the provision of hospital and home-based palliative care.

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