Project Muso partners with communities in Mali to solve the root causes of health crises. Our model integrates health care delivery, community organizing, microenterprise, and education to stop cycles of poverty and disease, and create cycles of health and well being in their place. Find Out More...
“One should not have to fear going to the health center because they might not be able to eat tomorrow if they do” -- Project Muso Co-Founder: Dr. Ari Johnson
The Project Muso team is in the process of tripling the number of our Community Health Workers -- to reach more children, with more care, more rapidly. Michaela Kupfer, Health Care Capacity Building Fellow, reflects on the last day of training for our new Community Health Worker candidates.
When we first came to Yirimadjo, we heard from women that the fees they paid for medical care had far-reaching, negative effects on their lives. To understand these connections better, researchers at Harvard and Project Muso conducted an ethnographic study, which has just been published in one of the world’s leading medical anthropology journals, Social Science and Medicine.
The Project Muso team is delighted that Dr. Jim Yong Kim has been officially named head of the World Bank today. Dr. Kim has served on Project Muso's Board of Advisors for the past five years. A tireless advocate for the poor around the world, Dr. Kim has been a visionary guide of Project Muso's rapid growth.
Today, Wednesday April 25th is World Malaria Day. The theme this year, “Sustain Gains, Save Lives: Invest in Malaria," denotes the critical stage facing malaria control efforts which hold particular relevance to our work in Yirimadjo.
On April 26, supporters of Project Muso Ladamunen will be hosting a gala at the elegant Alison Eighteen restaurant in Manhattan (15 West 18th St, New York, NY). The event will be held from 7-10 pm and will feature an open bar, hors d'oeuvres, West African musical performance by Denbaya (www.denbaya.com) and more.
To purchase tickets, please visit: http://projectmuso.givezooks.com/events/project-muso-gala-fundraiser-april-26-2012
We're grateful for the outpouring of support and concern for our patients and community partners in Mali during a time of tremendous instability. The grave situation continues to evolve, so we want to brief you on Project Muso’s response to the crisis, as well as what you can do.
Last week, the Malian Minister of Health, the Malian Minister of Youth and Sports, and many others gathered in Yirimadjo to present the Gold Ciwara Award for clinical excellence to the Yirimadjo Health Center. The award recognizes the Yirimadjo Health Center as the leading health center in its district, Commune VI. Operating in a particularly vulnerable area of Mali, the Yirimadjo Health Center nonetheless scored higher in this quality of care competition than the clinics of some of Mali's wealthiest areas.
This May, Harvard Medical School and Harvard School for Dental Medicine honored our own Ari Johnson, MD, with the Dean’s Community Service Award for his pioneering work in public health with Project Muso. Each year, the Dean grants this award to faculty, staff, trainees, and students in the Harvard medical community who are nominated by their colleagues and advisors.
Our Community Health Workers (CHWs) are extraordinary women who each provide medical services to hundreds—sometimes thousands—of people in their communities. One of their roles is to search actively for malaria cases, diagnose malaria with rapid finger-prick tests, and treat positive tests with three days of malaria pills. Constantly seeking to improve and save more lives, our CHWs organized a Quality Improvement Campaign in March of this year, with dedicated support from Quality Improvement Coordinator Amber Gladney, and Health Program Manager, Dr.
The Center of Expertise on Women’s Health and Empowerment recently named Project Muso one of three research groups in the University of California system to receive a seed grant to continue and enhance our operational research on health and empowerment. With the award, Project Muso is evaluating the strengths, weaknesses, and impact of our integrated approach to women’s empowerment, particularly looking at microfinance and healthcare delivery.
Today is World Malaria Day. And this year's theme, Achieving Progress and Impact, feels especially appropriate in Yirimadjo at this moment. Malaria is a major cause of unnecessary suffering and death throughout the world, and accounts for 63% of healthcare demand in Yirimadjo. Yet progress is in the air. Over the past two years, since Project Muso launched the Community Based Malaria Program, rates of early malaria treatment for children in Yirimadjo have tripled. Childhood fever has decreased 43%.
By Joia Mukherjee, PIH Chief Medical Officer (Click here to read the original story.)
Project Muso in Mali is transforming access to healthcare, saving children's lives, empowering women, and increasing access to health care. Today, Project Muso faces an urgent cash flow crisis and needs your support.
By Ari Johnson
The Community Management Committees of Yirimadjo are coordinating a series of discussions throughout April and May between each of the 14 Tostan/Project Muso education centers and the local Mayor’s Office, represented by Madu Colon Coulibaly.
By Ari Johnson
During the month of March, the 14 Community Management Committees of Yirimadjo each undertook a 4-day training in community organizing methods. Members of the Tostan and Project Muso teams together facilitated these trainings, which focused on enabling CMC members to develop skills to make change in their communities. The Tostan-created curriculum included how to plan well-organized community action, effective and ineffective approaches to behavior change, and methods in teaching human rights.
Project Muso presented preliminary results of its operational research at a national conference on policies for free health care in Mali, March 31st and April 1st. The conference, organized by the National Director of the Malian Ministry of Health and Doctors without Borders, brought together researchers, implementers, partners and policy makers to synthesize research on existing policies and new approaches to healthcare financing in Mali.
On the eve of International Women’s Day, the Project Muso’s Community Health Worker team launched a new quality improvement initiative. Utilizing problem solving and quality improvement methodology adapted from Tostan and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, they focused on a major challenge: testing and treating more children with malaria symptoms in the first 24 hours. Malaria can progress rapidly to severe and lethal stages, so early testing and treatment is crucial.
Participants in the Project Muso-Tostan non-formal education program are in the midst of learning about urgent community health challenges and discussing community based solutions. I had the opportunity to sit in on one of these classes today. Sitting in a circle in a simple, thatched-roofed classroom, participants launched into a complex analysis of barriers to prenatal care access. Although many in the classroom cannot read nor write—that will come in next year’s curriculum—they each had nuanced insights into the obstacles that pregnant women struggle with.
by Rebecca Palmer
On Saturday, December 18th, Project Muso Ladamunen hosted a tea event for staff and program leaders as part of Tony Blair Faith Foundation’s SolidariTea campaign. This campaign was launched to raise awareness of global poverty and to inspire individuals to take action in solidarity with those who live in poverty around the world.
by Cailey Gibson
In March 2010, 221 women received loans from Project Muso’s Springboard Microfinance program. For Tata Koné, president of Sigitemogoson women’s association and an original participant in the microfinance program, this loan is her fifth with Project Muso. Tata had previously taken a loan with another microfinance institution, but found that the financial burden and formal requirements outweighed the benefits. The institution required collateral and charged 15% of the loan principle in fees, including charging for the translation of the contract from French to Bambara, Tata’s native language. In addition, she had to pay for transport to the loan officer’s office to pay back her loan each week.
Under Project Muso’s program, Tata and the other women borrowers helped to collaboratively design a program that meets their needs.
by Kristine Johnston
Discussions on human rights, democracy, and community development abound wherever you go in Yirimadjo these days, thanks to the launch of Project Muso and Tostan’s joint participatory education program in January. With over 1200 participants in 28 classes at 14 centers and over 200 men and women now trained as community activists, a vast movement of community education and mobilization is spreading to all corners of Yirimadjo, and the changes taking place are already clear.
by Amber Gladney
In just two years, Project Muso Ladamunen’s Community Based Malaria Program has radically altered health norms in Yirimadjo, a peri-urban area of Bamako, Mali, by identifying and actively combating the complex and varied barriers to health care within the community. In 2008, PML set out to create a model community-based health care delivery system for malaria prevention and treatment that strengthened the primary health care system already in existence.
When Tostan and Project Muso's participatory education program launched in January, we expected to have about 700 participants in 14 centers. At the conclusion of the first session, called Kobi 1, in June, there were over 1200 participants that had regularly attended classes. These men, women, and adolescents celebrated the end of Kobi 1 by performing skits based on themes such as democracy and the right to an education. In addition, the 14 Community Management Committees formed in March have already shown impressive results - organizing community clean-up days, making sure all children have birth certificates, and mobilizing work crews to improve Yirimadjo's main market road. While classes will be on hold during the rainy season, the CMCs have created action plans that include activities such as planting trees and improving safety and security in their communities.
In August Project Muso hosted 10 Faiths Act Fellows from the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and the Interfaith Youth Core. The Fellows spent 3 weeks in Mali learning about malaria, global health inequalities, and Project Muso's work. Since then, the Fellows have been spreading the word about Project Muso and raising funds for our Community-Based Malaria Program. Earlier this week Fellows from Toronto held a 12-hour bake-a-thon that raised $4,000 for Project Muso. See the full story here:http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/793642--baking-for-bednets-to-combat-malaria-in-africa
Last week, Project Muso was invited to participate in a special consultation of President Obama’s Global Health Initiative. Project Muso Co-Executive Director Jessica Beckerman traveled to Washington, DC to participate in the consultation at USAID headquarters.
Project Muso is honored to be selected as a Semi-Finalist in Ashoka's Young Champions of Maternal Health Program. This is a global competition to recognize innovative solutions to transform the maternal health field, and a great way for us to get the word out about our Community-Based Malaria Program. For the next month, our entry will appear on the Changemaker website, where the public can read about our project and leave comments. A panel of judges will simultaneously review the entries and choose a group of finalists. Then, from April 28-May 12, the Changemakers community will vote for their 3 favorite organizations. Here's how you can help us rally support in the next month:
At the end of February Project Muso’s Community Based Malaria Program held its first monthly Malaria Awareness and Outreach Day in Yirimadjo. Over a hundred women gathered from three zones with their Community Health Worker and Project Muso’s Malaria Program Coordinators to talk about malaria: Its signs and symptoms, prevention, treatment and ways each community member can help fight malaria. The outreach reinforced the project’s goals and efforts and gave community members an opportu
With classes up and running in 14 centers throughout Yirimadjo, Project Muso’s education team will now begin social mobilization trainings for Community Management Committees from each of those 14 communities. The committees, each composed of 17 community members, will be responsible for supporting their center and facilitator, and for launching activities to improve the well-being of everyone in their community. Each committee will spend four days following a Tostan curriculum based on leadership, social mobilization, and financial and material management. By the end of the training, they should have the skills necessary to maintain a well-functioning organization and to launch high-impact development projects. Subcommittees will focus on priority areas such as health, sanitation, clean water, and child protection. By identifying the most pressing problems in their community, developing solutions, and attaining the resources necessary to carry out activities, the Community Management Committees will serve as a model for community-based development.
Thursday afternoon Molly Melching, the Executive Director and founder of Project Muso’s partner Tostan, visited Yirimadjo to meet with Project Muso team members and to observe one of our newly-opened participatory education classes. Tostan is working in Mali for the first time, with classes launching in Koulikoro and Yirimadjo just two weeks ago. Ms. Melching, Tostan staff from Senegal and Mali, and Project Muso staff and volunteers all sat in on a class held in Bakorobabougou, on the edge of Yirimadjo.
Last weekend water faucets around Yirimadjo sprung to life as the community was connected to Mali’s national water system for the first time. Project Muso’s Community Action Committee, founded in 2005, began petitioning the government for access to clean water in 2007 after a household needs survey revealed that hundreds of families perceived this as the most crucial step to local development. The committee organized meetings, a petition, and a march to the mayor’s office. In response, the government began to lay piping in 2008, and water arrived just a few days ago. As people all over Yirimadjo flocked to the faucets with buckets and water containers, even the children knew this was an important moment. “The well water we had before was dirty, but now we have clean water to drink,” said an 8-year old girl watching the excitement from nearby.
After months of preparation, Project Muso and Tostan launched their new participatory education program last week at 14 centers throughout Yirimadjo. Hundreds of community members attended the various openings, and a strong presence of community leaders showed widespread support and enthusiasm for the program. The new facilitators presented their first lesson, which included an activity involving Malian proverbs, an introduction to Tostan, and the establishment of rules and norms for the class. The atmosphere was one of excitement: there was no shortage of laughter, open conversation, and dancing. It is clear that these classes are poised to have a significant impact on the lives of many people in Yirimadjo.
In August, several members of Project Muso’s team sat down with the visiting Tony Blair Faith Acts Fellows to discuss the realities of malaria in Mali. They shared their thoughts on why their work is important to them, why Project Muso’s work is so effective, and how malaria can eventually be eradicated. Click "Read More" to view these videos.
In January Project Muso and Tostan will together open 28 new participatory education classes for over 700 participants in Yirimadjo. In preparation for the launch, Project Muso recently sent 16 men and women to participate in a 23-day facilitator training hosted by Tostan in Koulikoro. Over the course of three weeks, the participants were introduced to Tostan’s human rights-based curriculum. They attended sessions on topics such as democracy, violence against women and children, the right to be protected against all forms of discrimination, and the right to an education
This week, Project Muso’s Community Based Malaria Program is being featured on the BBC World Service. Broadcasting in 32 languages around the world, the BBC World Service reached an average weekly listenership of 183 million people in 2007. Project Muso is featured as part of a story on the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, a new foundation that is one of the supporters of Project Muso’s Community Based Malaria Program as a model effort.
Malaria kills one million people each year, most of them children. A child younger than 5 dies from malaria every 42 seconds. The Community Based Malaria Program aims to stop deaths from malaria and strengthen Mali’s primary health care system.
Group Pivot Santé Population recently selected Project Muso’s Community Based Malaria Program as a model program for its best practices exchange program. GPSP is a nationwide Malian coalition of civil society health organizations. It acts as a pivot-point for nationwide action to fight malaria. Conducting interviews in the field with residents of Yirimadjo, GPSP’s team learned about the impact that Project Muso’s malaria program has already made in its first seven months.
Project Muso’s Community Based Malaria Program is featured in a recent report, Malaria: Scoping New Partnerships published by the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University.