In 2007, PSI/Mali helped distribute more than 2.4 million free long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) to children under age 5. In early 2008, it also began to distribute free LLINs to children under age 1 and to pregnant women nationwide. As of June 2011, PSI Mali had distributed more than 2,000,000 LLINs that year to pregnant women and children: 1,440,000 in 8 districts of the Sikasso Region and another 600,000 in 4 districts of the Segou Region. PSI/Mali also continually monitors Malians’ use of LLINs to find new ways to educate, empower and effectively distribute these crucial malaria-prevention tools.
Mali is among the countries with the lowest contraceptive prevalence rates, despite efforts made in the area of reproductive health; 31.2% of married women face unmet needs and a low (7%) prevalence of modern contraceptive methods.
PSI/Mali has worked with the Government of Mali to increase the contraceptive prevalence rate, in line with 2015 MDGs. As part of this, a national family planning campaign was launched in March 2011, which had the following objectives:
- Increase the number of women using family planning methods, particularly long –lasting methods
- Reduce the rate of maternal and child mortality in Mali.
It is in this vein that PSI/Mali promotes long-lasting methods via:
- Information: PSI/Mali launched a mass media campaign (via radio and television) throughout the country, with the aim of informing the population on the correlation between increased birth spacing and decreased maternal mortality, and to sensitize the population on other advantages of birth spacing.
- Advocacy: PSI/Mali has also engaged in advocacy as a means to gain support not only from national and international decision-makers, but also from religious leaders who have a strong influence on decisions made within the Malian household.
- Community Mobilization: Community mobilization plays a large role in all of PSI/Mali’s interventions
- Creation of a hotline: PSI/Mali has created a telephone hotline where clients can receive all types of information regarding reproductive health, family planning, and various contraceptive methods. The hotline also directs clients toward PROFAM clinics for further support, care, and information.
- Improved IUD insertion and removal services: PSI/Mali has improved these services via the PROFAM social franchising model, which both sensitizes and informs the clientele on different contraceptive methods. Services offered conform to all norms outlined in the quality assurance manual.
In 2007, PSI/Mali began airing campaigns addressing FGM. More than 85% of women in Mali undergo FGM, and no law exists to prohibit the practice. PSI/Mali and the Malian government are collaborating against FGM with mass media campaigns that dispel myths that female circumcision is obligatory for those practicing Islam.
Introducing Malians to, and encouraging them to continue using a dedicated water treatment product, safely store the treated water, and frequently wash their hands, can play a vital part in wider efforts to break the deadly cycle of contaminated water, diarrheal disease and high child mortality rates in Mali. PSI/Mali distributes Aquatab tablets nationwide, via private sector distribution channels, activities which are complemented by mass media campaigns that promote the use of point of use (POU) water treatment, hand-washing, and household water treatment and storage to protect against diarrheal disease.
Since 2009, PSI/Mali has been working to reduce under-five child mortality and morbidity due to diarrheal disease by implementing an evidence-based mass media campaign aimed at caregivers of children under five. The campaign has included both generic and branded messages, with generic messaging focusing on the major causes of diarrhea and correct use of oral rehydration salts (ORS)/zinc to treat diarrhea, while branded messages have focused on promotion of a diarrhea treatment kit (DTK). In 2010/2011, PSI/Mali also created a new diarrhea treatment kit (DTK) composed of ORS and zinc tablets (Orasel/Zinc), to be launched in the second semester of 2011. The ORS has been adapted to the results of a taste-test performed among mothers of children under five.
About 100,000 of Mali’s 12.7 million people are living with HIV, and nearly 6,000 Malians die of AIDS each year. PSI Mali makes high quality, low cost condoms available through a network of thousands of private sector points of sale nationwide and conducts numerous behavior change communication campaigns annually. In 2010, PSI distributed more than 9,000,000 condoms, and in the first half of 2011 alone, it has distributed almost 7,000,000.