The following post is by the team at Project Muso, a PIH-supported project in Mali.
Early this year, representatives from Project Muso traveled from the west African country of Mali to PIH’s project in Rwanda in east Africa. A partner project of PIH and its Rwandan sister organization Inshuti Mu Buzima (IMB), Project Muso made the cross-continent journey to learn how PIH/IMB has worked with the Rwandan government to scale up a community-based approach to health care, and to participate in a best practices exchange.
In 2008, Project Muso launched a partnership with the Malian Ministry of the Health to pilot a PIH inspired model for health-care delivery in Mali. With intensive technical support from the PIH team, Project Muso and its Malian Ministry of Health partners developed a health care delivery model focused on preventing and treating malaria while strengthening the accessibility and quality of the health care system as a whole. In the first two years of Project Muso’s intervention, access to care has more than doubled, and rates of early treatment of pediatric malaria have tripled.
After two years of piloting a PIH-inspired model, Project Muso team members Dr. Ichiaka Koné and Ari Johnson traveled across the continent to train with IMB and to share preliminary results of efforts in Mali. Through meetings with IMB team—including community health workers, stock managers, physicians, agronomists, supervisors, and administrators—Project Muso explored PIH strategies for community health worker outreach and supervision, health care quality improvement, accessible healthcare financing, and treatment of malnutrition, AIDS, and tuberculosis. These exchanges provided new insight and inspiration for Project Muso’s efforts in Mali.
The Project Muso team also met with PIH/IMB’s partners in the Rwandan Ministry of Health, Dr. Corine Karema, who has led Rwanda's malaria control efforts and is currently the Acting Director General of TRAC-Plus, and Dr. Agnes Binagwaho the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health. Dr. Karema and Dr. Binagwaho discussed how the Rwandan Ministry of Health has been able to translate PIH-pioneered strategies into national policy, and shared strategies for how Project Muso can learn from this model and continue to deepen its collaboration with the Malian Ministry of Health.
Through the work of organizations like Project Muso, the scale-up of the community-based approach to health care is extending far beyond Rwanda’s borders, noted the Project Muso Team. Now back in Mali, Dr. Koné, Johnson, and their colleagues are continuing to work closely with the PIH/IMB team on the other side of the continent.