In spite of the difficult socio-political and economic situation that faces Mali, the Government continues to pursue its efforts towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC), which is clearly mentioned in the new health care plan visoin. The UN is playing an active role in efforts to restore order in Mali, and the WHO initiated the UHC Partnership in June 2013. Yet only the day before, there was a military coup and development partners stopped formal cooperation. Launching the UHC program stimulated major donors, including the Netherlands and Canada, to provide technical and budgetary support that were put in the proposal to WHO. In addition, health care financing for universal coverage (2013- 2023) has been adopted.
The country national health care plan (PDDSS) timeframe was 1998-2007, and was prolonged until 2011. A new plan has been developed for 2014-2023, including capacity-building for actors in decentralized health planning; accomplishing studies on priority health issues; and the elaboration of a five year plan on health and social development (PRODESS III) was validated on 4 June 2014. These key planning documents will help to convince other donors that it is worthwhile to invest in health in Mali. Recovering from the aid suspension, there is a need to develop more strategies in order to mobilize funding to implement the five year program and reach the main objectives.
“UHC should not be a standalone programme, but rather it should be integrated with what is going on in the country,” said Dr. Mohamed Lamine Dramé, political and health systems advisor with the WHO. The launch mission in June 2013 identified the main priorities of the health plan to be supported by the EU-LUX-WHO Partnership. The Ministry of Health organized workshops where participants chose several domains of support, such as capacity-building in development and implementation of the health plan, and reinforcing partnership and decentralized political dialogue. A large national forum on health will be organized later this year with support from the WHO and other donors.