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GLI Bamako (Mali)

GLI-Bamako was the first Global Laboratory Iniciative (GLI) started by the Foundation in 2010. Following the initial phase of identifying the healthcare infrastructures which attend the population in the neighborhood of Téléphone Sans Fils (TSF), it was decided to reinforce the Valentín de Pablo health center, particularly its diagnostic laboratory, in collaboration with the Mutuelle Benkan (a non-profit community group that manages the center), the local authorities, and neighbors' associations.

Mali has a population of 17,100,000, inhabitants, the average life expectancy is 57 years, and the mortality rate is 10.80%. The average income for the country's inhabitants is 530€ a year. For every 1,000 births, 104 children die and 540 mothers die giving birth for every 100.000 children born.  Mali is one of the lowest ranked countries in the Human Development Index.

Téléphone Sans Fils is a vulnerable neighborhood located in Bamako, the capital of Mali. Due to the flow of migratory populations it has grown in a spontaneous and disordered way. Its inhabitants, who have very low income, live in unhealthy conditions with difficulties to access both social and healthcare services.

In 2004 the community created the Mutuelle Benkan as a response to the lack of state services. It is a non-profit group that carries out interventions to improve the quality of life of the inhabitants and collaborates with Probitas. One of the group's programs is the Valentín de Pablo healthcare center aligned with the policies of the Healthcare and Social Development Ministry. It centers its activity on primary care, birthing assistance, and vaccination programs.

Through its GLI program, the Probitas Foundation has provided equality for the most vulnerable individuals, offering access to quality diagnosis that permits the application of effective treatment and particularly to diminish the prevalence of infectious, respiratory, cutaneous, and digestive illnesses in the population.  

GLI-Bamako is currently autonomous. Mutuelle Benkan is working to support project sustainability and local self-management.

During these years the Foundation has been implementing the phases of the GLI project to improve the healthcare structure of the Téléphone Sans Fils neighborhood.




Project Phases

During the first phase, the situation of the community was diagnosed with special attention paid to the healthcare structures. The conclusion was that it was necessary to invest in the development of the diagnostic laboratory in the Salud Valentín de Pablo healthcare center due to its precarious situation and the lack of accessibility to diagnostic tests for the population.

In the second phase the infrastructures and installations were improved and the laboratory   equipped.

  • The laboratory was enlarged, connected to internet, and a pressure pump installed to supply running water.
  • A septic tank, showers for the patients, and a warehouse for the stock were constructed.
  • Generators and voltage stabilizers were installed in order to guarantee electricity supply.
  • Semi-automatic hematological and biochemical analyzers and other diagnostic tools were provided.
  • Contracts for the equipment's preventive maintenance were signed. 

With respect to the third phase, action was started for the training and capacity-building of the local staff with the aim of their becoming self-sufficient.  

  • Management and basic laboratory maintenance.
  • Essential diagnostic techniques: basic microbiology, hematology, and biochemistry.
  • Handling of samples and management of biological waste.
  • Increase in the number of technical analyses for the service portfolio.
  • Introducing the center's medical director to the GLI-Software. 

Other transversal healthcare programs have been carried out during the fourth phase: 

  • Implementation of photovoltaic power.
  • Support for the sanitation network: water pipelines.
  • Improvement in the management of the pharmacy at the Valentín de Pablo center.  

Finally, in the fifth phase, the Foundation is providing support and guidance so that the GLI project can become self-sufficient.

What do they tell us?

"In Mali, things, even simple ones, worked in a different way"

Miquel Iglesias, Grifols's engineer