Bringing Modern Medical Science to Mali

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Mali , Topic: Systems Strengthening

[Note: This case study was originally published in 2009. Download a PDF or read the case study here.]

Mali, covering a vast wedge of sub-Saharan Africa, is one of the poorest nations in the world. Its health problems are multi-farious, with the country’s four million annual cases of malaria representing a severe burden. Yet the situation is not hopeless. Mali is the scene of an international partnership that has created a world-class medical research center and, within it, the seeds of a research-based modern medical system.

Lessons Learned:

  • Effective research partnerships require strong leadership and government support.
  • A cooperative decision-making style enables the sharing of technical and cultural knowledge.
  • Providing career opportunities and research grants in developing countries entices researchers to return to their home countries after obtaining their graduate education elsewhere.
  • Collaborations that include sophisticated research projects and advanced training of local personnel can provide the foundation for a new, world-class research system in even the most resource-constrained countries.


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