Spotlight on Dr. Amadou Beydi Cissé: Muso’s Rural Site Coordinator
I thought Muso was crazy. We all did, remembers Dr. Amadou Beydi Cissé, laughing at his own incredulousness. Who thinks they can treat people for free? It couldn’t be possible.
Eight years later, Beydi sits in the captain’s chair at Muso’s rural Bankass office as our Rural Site Coordinator, fighting to treat as many people for free as possible—and succeeding.
On the eve before the unprecedented launch of seven new health centers and Muso’s CHW model in the rural district—which consistently has some of Mali’s worst health statistics—Beydi’s multiple phones were abuzz, his office a revolving door of problems being solved and questions needing answers, with barely a second to sip Mali’s iconic gunpowder tea, brewed and delivered with care by his faithful driver, waiting to whisk him away at a moment’s notice. A standard morning in the Bankass office.
Beydi was a medical student stationed in Yirimadjo’s community clinic when the first patients started arriving with their Muso cards, indicating that they were to receive free health care. Months later, he was recommended by the clinic’s technical director to serve as Muso’s Reference and Evacuation Coordinator.
Like many of Muso’s staff, Beydi knew very early in his career that he wanted to serve his country and community. As the R & E Coordinator, Beydi was the interface between Muso’s community patients and the clinical system. “This was truly a window into a [health] crisis in my community that I never imagined was real.” Any initial skepticism about the model Beydi may have had was quickly vanquished by the direct effect he saw as a result of Muso’s model, thus transforming his outlook on his role as a doctor.
I still get calls from parents of children I helped all those years ago in Yirimadjo, who just want to say hello, Beydi says with a proud smile. Sure, I might not remember every case, but it means a lot to me to know they still think about me. It helps me remember that the battle isn’t over. I remain combatant.
The district of Bankass has never experienced anything like what Muso is introducing. Understandably, “few people fully believe what we’re proposing. It’s like a dream to them.” But since 2015, as the Rural Site Coordinator, Beydi has adopted new administrative and management roles outside of his medical training to rally local governors, mayors, traditional authority representatives and community members to believe in Muso’s mission to solve one of the world’s greatest injustices. “We’ve built the health centers, so people already know something different is happening. And in Tori [where we started door-to-door CHW visits prior to launching the seven rural sites] people are experiencing the positive impact on their health.”
Once those clinic doors open and our health workers start canvassing neighborhoods day in and day out, Beydi is confident that anyone who still holds any doubts, like he did so many years ago, will quickly believe in the power of social justice medicine.