CDC in Mali

Mali Feature Image

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been working in partnership with Mali since 1966, when a CDC medical epidemiologist was based in Mali to implement the CDC Smallpox Eradication and Measles Control Program in West Africa. Since then, CDC’s support has expanded to address HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, meningitis, and influenza, as well as strengthening Mali’s laboratory, surveillance, and workforce capacity to respond to disease outbreaks.

Mali map

What CDC is Doing in Mali

In today’s globally connected world, disease threats can spread faster and more unpredictably than ever before. CDC’s global health security efforts in Mali help improve the country’s ability to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks before they become epidemics that could affect global populations. These efforts help Mali reach the targets outlined in the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), a global partnership launched in 2014 to help make the world safer and more secure from infectious disease threats.

Working closely with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and other partners, CDC provides expertise and support across the 11 technical areas known as GHSA action packages. These action packages help Mali build core public health capacities in disease surveillance, laboratory systems, workforce development, emergency management, and other critical areas. Mali has made significant progress in laboratory systems strengthening, real time surveillance, workforce development, and emergency operations center establishment.

Malaria is a leading cause of death and disease in many countries, and young children and pregnant women are the groups most affected. Under the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative, CDC has assigned a resident advisor to the malaria-endemic country of Mali to support the implementation of malaria prevention and control interventions. These interventions include providing long-lasting insecticide-treated nets and indoor residual spraying, preventing malaria in pregnancy, and improving diagnostics and case management.

HIV is a leading cause of death and a health threat to millions worldwide. As a key implementer of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), CDC works with Mali to build a sustainable, high-impact national HIV response program to accelerate progress towards the UNAIDS global targets to control the HIV epidemic.

With tuberculosis (TB) emerging as the leading cause of death among people living with HIV, CDC provides technical assistance to the MOH’s HIV and TB control efforts, focusing on laboratory strengthening, surveillance systems for key populations (i.e., men who have sex with men, female sex workers, and injection drug users) and HIV case-based surveillance. CDC provides technical assistance for laboratory quality assurance, viral load optimization, and national strategic information efforts. CDC is also collaborating with Global Fund and other UN agencies to achieve the UNAIDS 90-90-90 goal by 2020.

CDC supports Mali in strengthening the capacity of its workforce to investigate and respond to disease outbreaks through the establishment of the Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP). FETP trains a workforce of field epidemiologists—or disease detectives—to identify and contain outbreaks before they become epidemics. Participants focus on “learning by doing” to develop the skills for gathering critical data and turning it into evidence-based action. The MOH launched the Mali FETP in 2016 with the roll-out of a frontline-level training, a three-month program focused on local MOH staff. Mali FETP trainees and graduates have been actively participating in outbreak investigations and responses for Rift Valley Fever, measles, meningitis, polio, yellow fever, and rabies.

Influenza viruses require continued vigilance to protect the United States and the world from seasonal influenza as well as novel viruses that could trigger a pandemic. CDC works with Mali’s Center for Vaccine Development to help build surveillance and laboratory capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to influenza threats. Surveillance is being conducted using sentinel sites in two regions and in the capital city of Bamako.

Every year, over one million people worldwide are affected by meningitis. CDC has a long history of collaboration with the Mali MOH in meningitis prevention and control. CDC assistance has included technical support and evaluation of the 2010-2011 MenAfriVac mass vaccination campaign, assessment and strengthening of meningitis surveillance, and technology transfer of real-time sensitive diagnostics for the three main vaccine-preventable bacterial meningitis pathogens.

CDC Impact in Mali

To improve early detection and response to epidemic-prone diseases, suspect case reports and laboratory data from subnational jurisdictions can now be integrated with Mali’s national database.

With CDC technical assistance, a national health Emergency Operations Center was established to test, detect and rapidly respond to public health emergencies.

28 Rapid Response Teams were trained in public health emergency investigation and management in 7 regions.

49 districts, 7 regional laboratories, and 7 national laboratories are now able to perform diagnostic tests for 13 priority pathogens.

114 health staff from all regions have completed the frontline Field Epidemiology Training Program.

A National Public Health Institute, one of Mali’s GHSA goals, was established in 2019.

CDC Staff in Mali
  • 2 U.S. Assignees
  • 2 Locally Employed
Mali at a Glance
  • Population: 18,541,980
  • Per capita income: $2,160
  • Life expectancy at birth: F 62 /M 58 years
  • Infant mortality rate: 56/1,000 live births

World Bank 2018, Mali
Population Reference Bureau 2018, Mali

Mali Top 10 Causes of Death
  1. Neonatal disorders
  2. Malaria
  3. Diarrheal diseases
  4. Lower respiratory infections
  5. Stroke
  6. lschemic heart disease
  7. Congenital defects
  8. Malnutrition
  10. Meningitis

GBD Compare 2018, Mali

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Page last reviewed: December 18, 2019
Content source: Global Health