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President Obama's ambitious Global Health Initiative — announced to a receptive international community in 2009 — is faltering as budget constraints and shaky implementation limit the impact of the multibillion-dollar program.

Mali global health
Generally poor maternal and infant health are key areas of concern in Mali. Here a mother holds her infant in Gao, northern Mali, 11 November 2006. (Georges Gobet /AFP/Getty Images)

Healing the world: Mali

A snapshot of facts and figures on Mali's health and the aims of the GHI.

WASHINGTON — Here’s a fact-based snapshot of Mali and its health challenges that the U.S. government has spotlighted in its initial work through the Global Health Initiative:

MALI

Total GHI spending:
FY 2009: $35 million
FY 2010: $51 million

Total population: 14 million
GDP per capita: $686

The number of malaria episodes the average child under 5 suffers each year: 2
Proportion of population under 25 years old: two-thirds

Major health concerns in the country:
1) Generally poor maternal and child health, including an extremely high rate of birth-related deaths, and a vast unmet need for family planning
2) Tropical diseases, especially malaria, which is Mali’s leading cause of death and largely affects pregnant women and young children

GHI's main goals: Expand the network of community health workers, especially in hard-to-reach rural areas; improve care for children infected with malaria and access to insecticide-treated bed nets; encourage families to space births further apart in order to improve mothers’ and children’s health

GHI on the ground: New training is planned for health care workers in rural areas of Mali. These workers will be recruited from their own communities, will receive nurse training, and will provide advice and basic health care. They will treat uncomplicated malaria cases, refer more serious cases to nearby services, and connect women with birth control if they want it.

(Sources: CIA; GHI country strategy documents; Kaiser Family Foundation; UN; www.foreignassistance.gov)

Funding for this project is provided by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation as part of its U.S. Global Health Policy program.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/110505/healing-the-world-mali