Event Detail

Peer Learning in Rwanda

Health Insurance: MLI/Mali co-sponsors South to South workshop

May 30, 2010 – June 4, 2010

MLI/Mali co-sponsored and actively participated in the workshop “Extending Health Insurance – How to make it work” held in Kigali, Rwanda. Country teams from five countries – Mali, Senegal, Cameroon, Benin, and Burkina Faso – were present at this “hands-on” workshop from May 30-June 4, 2010, which was designed to help them chart an informed and responsible path to expanding the form of health insurance that fits their needs and resources.

The Mali team was a multidisciplinary group – including senior technicians from the Ministries of Health and Social Development, as well as key stakeholders and elected leaders from civil society - with whom MLI has been working closely and who have become key in the quest to extend health insurance to informal sector and farming populations. A majority of the team had participated in MLI/Mali’s study tour to Rwanda in October 2009 to learn from Rwanda’s impressive expansion of health insurance to 85% of its population. MLI/Mali country lead Allison Gamble Kelley served as the mentor for the Mali team during the workshop.

Having launched this year “assurance maladie obligatoire” for the formal sector and “RAMED” - a social assistance fund to cover health expenses for the 5% poorest, the Mali team spent the health insurance workshop working toward operationalizing its new national strategy to extend mutuelles to the 80% of Malians who remain without health insurance. A key innovation in Mali’s plan to scale-up mutuelles is the co-financing of dues – intended to be a 50/50 split between the member and the government.

The key take-away lessons from the week for Mali were the importance of explicitly including reproductive health care and other preventive services in the benefits package, and the need to develop “champions” and advocacy messages for this ambitious strategy to help inform, motivate and mobilize potential beneficiaries and supporters.

This workshop was sponsored by USAID's Health Systems 20/20 project in collaboration with the World Bank, World Health Organization, the African Development Bank and the Ministerial Leadership Initiative.

For additional information, the pedagogic materials, and photos from the workshop, please visit

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