A paper published this week in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE describes how a new model for health care delivery in Yirimadjo, Mali, may have helped reduce the rate of child mortality from 155/1000 to 17/1000 over a three-year span.
The paper, which is co-authored by PIH’s Drs. Paul Farmer and Joia Mukherjee, among other colleagues from Harvard Medical School, the University of California San Francisco, and the Malian Ministry of Health, notes that there was an approximately tenfold increase in the number of home and clinic patient visits over the course of the study.
The new health care model used several strategies, including active case-finding by community health workers; removing health service fees for those who couldn’t afford to pay; and community education and empowerment programs.
In a statement on the paper, the authors explain that the “model aims to avert child deaths by reaching children early with medicines and prevention tools already proven to save lives. To achieve this, the model builds demand for health services together with a route to ultra-rapid access.”
The researchers found the rate of early treatment for malaria, within 24 hours of a child’s first symptom, nearly doubled during the study period. The team notes that the study has various limitations and calls for further researcher to more deeply evaluate the model.