Community Health Workers (CHWs) worldwide provide care to millions of patients, removing barriers to care and curing illnesses, but their efforts often go unrecognized. Across Mali, over 400 Muso-supported CHWs are providing care to approximately 425,000 patients. In Bamako in late December, Muso and our partners celebrated the Day of the CHW in order to honor the tremendous impact these frontline providers have achieved in their communities and thank them for their service.
La Journée des ASCs or the Day of the CHW was first launched in 2018 with our government and local community partners and has since become a yearly tradition. During the event, a number of CHWs were recognized for their exceptional performance when providing care to patients. This ceremony was also an opportunity to hold discussions on the impact of CHWs in the community, the challenges they face, and how to further protect and support them. Various stakeholders from government and civil society bodies, such as the Director General for Health and Public hygiene, the President of the National Federation of Community Health Associations (FENASCOM), and representatives of the Ministry of Health and Social Development were in attendance, as well as medical personnel from our partner Community Health Centers.
During the ceremony, the 20 top-performing CHWs received prizes for the quality care they have provided to their neighbors and surrounding community. Abibatou Doussou Traoré (pictured below) was named the best of the best, as 97% of her patient visits were conducted in alignment with our quality of care protocols.
Dr. Cheick Amadou Tidiane Traoré, Director General for Health and Public hygiene, presents Abibatou with the “Best CHW” Award.
A football match took place after the award ceremony opposing Muso-supported CHWs to the medical staff of the Community Health Center (CSCOM) and the Referral Health Center (CSREF).
Today, Muso supports more than 400 CHWs in Mali who provide care to approximately 425,000 patients. We are also currently onboarding 25 new CHWs in our Bamako site to keep up with a rapidly growing urban population and ensure a balanced ratio of CHWs to patients served. The current ratio is of 1 CHW: 1,000 inhabitants per coverage zone, which represents approximately 170 households. The newly recruited CHWs will contribute to ensuring that our patients receive rapid, quality care.
Since 2008, Muso has advocated for CHWs to be supported, professionalized, and integrated into the national health system. In April 2022, the Malian government issued a decree legally recognizing CHWs as members of the Community Health Center team, thus establishing a framework for the remuneration of CHWs from the national budget in the years to come. The attendance and active participation of the national Director General for Health and Public hygiene, Dr. Cheick Amadou Tidiane Traoré, throughout the Day of the CHW event demonstrates the Malian government's increasing recognition of CHW contributions towards improved health outcomes. We firmly believe that investing in CHWs and supporting them with the tools they need is an essential step to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for all.