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August 13, 2009

MLI Voice: Senegal

My work with MLI began this past March as the Country Lead for Senegal. In this role, I coordinate all MLI activities in Senegal in close collaboration with Moussa Mbaye, Secretary General of the Ministry of Health. Following the launch of MLI in Senegal, the Ministry convened a Task Force, composed of senior Ministry officials and development partners to meet regularly to discuss all MLI activities. I serve as a liaison between the Task Force and MLI headquarters in Washington to communicate Task Force priorities and to advance the implementation of technical assistance priorities.

The MLI technical assistance plan for Senegal is well underway. At the request of the Ministry, MLI has engaged two consulting firms, Digit Medic Afrique and Groupe ISSA , to perform assessments of specific financing challenges for the health sector in Senegal: resource allocation formulas and the sector-wide approach (SWAp). Each firm will present a report with their analysis and recommendations for improvement to the Minister of Health. In order to supplement these assessments, I will be accompanying the consultants and a delegation of senior Ministry officials on two study tours. We will be departing for Mali at the end of August to learn about its recent donor harmonization experience leading to the signing of its country Compact this past April. Then the delegation will visit Rwanda to learn about its work on performance-based financing and more equitable resource allocation.

The Ministry of Health faces a variety of challenges, such as reducing the maternal and infant mortality rate and streamlining donor assistance to make it more effective and affordable to the vulnerable parts of the population, to name a few. The support provided through MLI will help the Ministry begin to tackle some of these significant issues and I look forward to the continuation of this partnership.

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In Senegal