MALI: How DÉCLIC is Redefining the Training of Healthcare Professionals

Mali is a country of 17.6 million people, out of which only 2 million live in Bamako, the capital. Yet, before DÉCLIC was launched, most of the clinical training for Malian healthcare professionals was offered in the hospital centres of Bamako, where the conditions are completely different from the rest of the country’s health facilities and where only a small portion of the population receives care.


Imagine that you have been trained (given you have been fortunate enough to get out your classroom) in conditions you will never see again during your career. That you have been taught how to treat patients with equipment you will never find in your future working environment. That the techniques you were told to apply will not be applicable where you will work, because you will have extremely limited resources and, probably, no running water or electricity…

Imagine standing in front of a pregnant woman about to give birth and having the sickening feeling of not being up to the job even though you have spent countless hours and energy studying what needs to be done in order to allow her to see her child being born and growing up healthy.

Without being too dramatic, this was, unfortunately, the reality of several newly graduated doctors, nurses and midwives in Mali. They were taught what theory says, with no consideration for the context in which it would be applied. These young people would therefore get to their workplace with a diploma, but very little practical knowledge and skills adapted to their situation and to the needs of the populations they work with.

Bringing Training Closer to Communities

Thanks to support from the government of Canada, the DÉCLIC Project contributes to redefining the way we train healthcare professionals in Mali.

While updating training curricula has been a key element in this transformation, it is the establishment of a network of five University Education Community Health Centres (CHC-Us) that has been the main catalyst for change.

Located in five regions of Mali that are geographically and demographically different, these CHC-Us allow residents from the Faculty of Odontostomatology (FMOS) and interns from the National Institute of Health Sciences Training (INFSS) to learn how to provide good care in Mali in the most appropriate and suiting environment: their future workplace.

With strong ties in the community, the CHC-Us present the ideal conditions for future healthcare professionals to work hands-on, develop their ability to work on interdisciplinary medical teams and become part of a more effective and decentralized health system that can meet the needs of the populations.

The majority of graduates complete their training with first-hand experience and the feeling that they have the skills they need to do their job. After having been trained in rural areas, some even decide to permanently move to these regions, where they contribute to improving Malians’ access to quality health care in a significant way.


Undertaken with financial support from Global Affairs Canada (GAC), the DÉCLIC project, a CA $18,750,000 initiative, is implemented by a Consortium made up of CCISD, the University of Sherbrooke and the Cégep de Saint-Jérôme.