In Mali, we work with the private sector and local health systems to help women, children, and communities—including those in fragile settings—access the essential health products and services they need.


Mali has made impressive strides in recent decades to improve the health of its population: More Malian children reach their fifth birthday every year, and more mothers are alive to help them celebrate. Nonetheless, Mali still has some of the highest maternal and child mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa.7 The country also continues to experience periodic conflict, population movement and displacement, severe poverty, harsh climate conditions, and infectious disease outbreaks, all of which threaten health progress for Malian women and children.

Partnerships with local organizations are key to building a resilient health system and helping Malian women and children access high-quality health care, now and well into the future. MOMENTUM partners with local organizations to help improve essential health services for women and children, especially those that have limited access to health care services given environmental stressors, such as conflict and natural disasters. We support the strengthening of local health systems so communities, especially women and children, continue to have access to high-quality health care products and services, such as safe obstetric and gynecological surgeries.

Learn more about our programs in West Africa

Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health

Reaching Every Malian Mother and Child with Essential Health Care

Mali has one of the highest maternal and child death rates in sub-Saharan Africa.8 To address this urgent issue, MOMENTUM works to improve access to, quality of, and demand for essential health care services for women and children at every stage of life. Our partnership supports short, targeted training for health workers at frequent intervals and regular opportunities for them to practice their clinical skills. We also work with local health systems to help them more efficiently govern health services and provide proper oversight.

Nutrition, a critical component of child survival, is also part of MOMENTUM’s maternal and child health programs in Mali. We assess health programs to determine how best to deliver nutrition services for mothers and children, especially activities that monitor child growth, provide folic acid supplements, and promote diverse diets.

Voluntary Family Planning and Reproductive Health

Increasing Access to Family Planning for All

In 2018, only 16 percent of married Malian women between the ages of 15 and 49 years used a modern method of contraception.9 In response, the Malian government set an ambitious goal to significantly increase the use of modern contraceptives by 2030. MOMENTUM works with health providers—with an emphasis on those in Mali’s rapidly growing private health sector—to support the government’s goal and to help individuals and couples access the information and services they need to make voluntary and informed decisions about family planning.

As part of this effort, we help enhance Malian private and public health workers’ ability to insert and remove long-acting methods of reversible contraception, such as contraceptive implants and intrauterine devices, and perform tubal ligations and vasectomies. We also work with the private sector to improve and expand access to quality family planning services. This includes working with pharmacies and drugstores to help them keep an adequate stock of family planning and reproductive health supplies and to counsel their clients on the contraceptive method that best fits their needs.

Routine Immunization

Strengthening Mali’s Routine Immunization Services

In Mali, logistical barriers such as scheduling and safety concerns make it difficult to reach every child with the vaccinations they need. We support our partners in Mali to reduce the number of “zero-dose” children—those who have not received even a single dose of the vaccines that prevent diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis—and under-immunized children through strengthening routine immunization services.

To reach children in fragile contexts with low immunization coverage, like northern Mali, MOMENTUM is adapting the World Health Organization’s Reaching Every District/Reaching Every Child approach,10 which builds the capacity of local health systems to address common obstacles to immunization. We also work with partners to implement effective solutions to increase vaccination coverage. Solutions include online training modules to help health workers identify missed opportunities for vaccination, and finding ways to integrate immunization within humanitarian efforts.

UNICEF Mali/2019/Keita
Safe Surgical Care

Helping Malian Women Access Safe Surgeries

Mali does not have enough qualified obstetric and gynecological surgeons and anesthesiologists to help women deliver their babies safely or address labor complications such as severe bleeding, uterine rupture, or fistula. Every year, 2,400 Malian women are at risk of developing an obstetric fistula,11 a serious and often tragic complication of childbirth that occurs when obstructed labor leaves a hole in the birth canal.

MOMENTUM partners with a broad group of Malian institutions—civil society groups, faith-based and community-based organizations, private sector organizations, and professional associations— to strengthen their ability to provide the high-quality surgical care many Malian women need. We help surgical teams safely provide care during the pandemic, including support to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We also strengthen referral networks for obstetric and fistula-related care. We support local partners to update, adopt, and disseminate evidence-based guidelines that make it safer for women to give birth, improve systems that can refer women for additional care, and allow for timely and safe obstetric surgeries. Finally, we help identify women with fistula and connect them with high-quality treatment services.

Trevor Snapp/IntraHealth International
Fragile Settings

Creating a Resilient Health System

Climate change, conflict, and political and economic instability have made it difficult for Malians to access and use health care. In northern Mali, we focus on supporting the country’s health system to strengthen its ability to prepare and respond to these challenges. We work with individuals, households, communities, and the health system overall to bolster their capacity to recover from shocks and stresses that affect health care. For instance, we support local governments, health facilities, and community members in creating emergency preparedness action plans for health centers.

Private Health Care Sector

Improving Quality of Care in the Private Health Sector

In Mali, 60 percent of all health visits occur at a private facility,12 and one-fifth of all voluntary family planning users get their method from a private source.13 However, the quality of care, data collection and use, available health products, and financing opportunities across these private facilities vary widely. MOMENTUM works with private facilities to improve the coverage and quality of their health services and provides tools and resources to prioritize clients’ preferences and experiences.

MOMENTUM also collaborates with private partners to strengthen the use and availability of health data in Mali, especially for budgeting, planning, and monitoring health care quality.

About the MOMENTUM Projects Working in Mali

MOMENTUM Integrated Health Resilience works in northern Mali to improve the availability, quality, and use of essential health services and improve the local health system’s ability to respond to shocks and stresses that affect health care.

MOMENTUM Private Healthcare Delivery seeks to improve the availability and use of high-quality products and services for maternal, newborn, and child health and nutrition services; family planning and reproductive health; and water, sanitation, and hygiene in Mali’s private sector.

MOMENTUM Safe Surgery in Family Planning and Obstetrics seeks to build awareness of, equitable access to, and provision of high-quality, voluntary, medically necessary and consented safe surgeries in Mali.


  1. Kaneda, Toshiko, Charlotte Greenbaum, and Carl Haub. 2021 World Population Data Sheet. Washington, DC: Population Reference Bureau. 2021.
  2. Kaneda, Toshiko, Charlotte Greenbaum, and Carl Haub. 2021 World Population Data Sheet.
  3. Kaneda, Toshiko, Charlotte Greenbaum, and Carl Haub. 2021 World Population Data Sheet.
  4. Roser, Max and Hannah Ritchie. “Maternal Mortality.” 2017.
  5. United Nations Children’s Fund. “Country Profiles: Mali.” 2017.
  6. Countdown to 2030. “Countdown Country Dashboard: Mali.”
  7. Demographic and Health Surveys Program. “Mali.” 2018.
  8. Demographic and Health Surveys Program, “Mali.”
  9. Demographic and Health Surveys Program, “Mali.”
  10. WHO Africa. Reaching Every District (RED): A Guide to Increasing Coverage and Equity in All Communities in the African Region. 2017.
  11. USAID. “Obstetric Fistula Repair in Mali.” Updated August 14, 2019.
  12. Schantz, Clémence, et al. June 2020. “Caesarean section in Benin and Mali: increased recourse to technology due to suffering and under-resourced facilities.” Reproductive BioMedicine and Society Online 10: 10-18.
  13. Health Finance & Governance Project. Mali Private Health Sector Assessment. December 2017.
  14. Private Sector Counts. “Where Do Women Obtain Their Modern Contraception?” 2018.

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