Project Muso / Mali

 

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Mother and child in Yirimadjo.

In 2005, a team of Malian and American medical professionals, educators, and social entrepreneurs founded Project Muso Ladamunen (The Project for the Empowered Woman). Project Muso aims to solve health crises at their roots, by addressing and transforming the violent conditions of poverty and gender inequality that cause disease. To do this, Project Muso integrates health care delivery with microfinance, community organizing, and participatory education programs. This integrated model aims to stop the deadly, mutually reinforcing cycle of poverty and disease and replace it with a healing cycle of women’s empowerment, community mobilization, microenterprise, and health care access.

Project Muso works with communities in Yirimadjo, Mali, an impoverished, overcrowded network of communities on the edge of Mali’s capital city. A peaceful, multi-party democracy, with a rich cultural, artistic, and religious social fabric, Mali nonetheless struggles with extreme poverty as the world’s fifth poorest country by UNDP’s HDI. Approximately one out of five children does not survive to their fifth birthday.

Project Muso shares with Partners In Health an understanding that poverty is violent, as it leads to a great burden of preventable and treatable disease. Inspired by the Partners In Health model, Project Muso works in partnership with Malian communities and the Malian Ministry of Health to develop just systems of health care delivery that ensure each person their right to access health care, with a preferential option for the poor.

In 2008, Project Muso launched a pilot program, the Community Based Malaria Program, which aims to stop preventable deaths from malaria and integrate malaria treatment into a high-quality and accessible health care delivery system. This program was designed with close consultation and guidance from many members of the Partners In Health team, who have provided technical support for health center design and construction, community health worker training, procurement, clinical protocols, research and evaluation, and evidence-based advocacy. Project Muso also provides complementary programming through partnering with other non-profits to provide education, community organizing structures, and microfinance opportunities for women.

Since its inception, Project Muso has designed, constructed, and equipped a new 2900 sq. ft. Clinical Care Building at the government’s Yirimadjo Health Center, renovated and expanded existing facilities, and provided free comprehensive care at 15,679 patient visits in its first 17 months, as well as thousands more in-home consultations with Community Health Workers. After years of activism by the Community Action Committee, in 2008 the government began to connect Yirimadjo to Mali's national water system for the first time, providing clean water to Yirimadjo’s residents. Since 2005, hundreds of women have developed health and enterprise skills in Project Muso’s education and microenterprise programs.

Click here to visit the Project Muso website.

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