MLI Newsletter - December 2009

December 18, 2009

Senegal-Mali Joint Study tour to Rwanda
Senegal and Mali face many similar challenges in their health systems and both are seeking alternative and more equitable financing mechanisms to address them. In order to learn from the experiences of other countries, in October 2009 MLI hosted a joint study tour to Rwanda for teams from Senegal and Mali, made up of senior policymakers, elected officials, and technical experts. Rwanda has made extraordinary advances in implementing innovative health financing policies and has made strong progress toward its MDGs. The team from Senegal focused on learning about the resource allocation policies that have led to the recent doubling of the health care utilization rate in Rwanda, while the Malian delegation learned about the financing principles and mechanisms for the community-based health insurance system that covers 80% of the population in Rwanda. Upon returning from Rwanda, the country teams have been focusing on synthesizing and disseminating the lessons learned from the Rwanda reforms and using these lessons to inform their own health financing reform efforts.

MLI Hosts Leadership Training in Nepal

In late September, MLI hosted the Negotiating Health Development Leadership Training in Nepal at the request of the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP).  The workshop was designed to meet the specific professional challenges and goals of the participants and to facilitate dialogue within the Ministry.  CMPartners coordinated this training and shared best practices for effective communication and conflict management to address situations faced by the Ministry staff in their daily work. Efforts are now underway to develop an ongoing negotiation skills training program at the MoHP that builds off the September workshop. To disseminate insights from the workshop, MLI and the MoHP are engaging other MLI countries in an on-line dialogue to explore how ministries of health have effectively negotiated different aid modalities for health, including basket (or pool funding) mechanisms.

Scaling-up Mutuelles in Mali
The Ministry of Social Development, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, has launched an ambitious process to develop and implement a strategy to expand community-based health insurance (mutuelles de santé) nationwide to provide financial access to health care for the 80% of the population currently not covered by any form of health insurance. To kick off this process, in September Mali held a national workshop with participants from all regions to share experiences and reach a common understanding of the state of development of mutuelles today in Mali. To build upon the workshop, MLI organized a study tour to Rwanda to draw lessons from Rwanda’s success with mutuelles.  A second workshop in Mali is planned for January of 2010 to review and validate the strategy for scaling-up community-based health insurance. This process is a partnership of the Malian Ministry of Social Development, the Ministry of Health, MLI, the World Bank, and Health Systems 20/20.

Reproductive Health Roundtable in Kampala, Uganda
In November 2009, MLI sponsored the participation of representatives from our three RH focus countries to attend the International Conference on Family Planning, held in Kampala, Uganda from November 15-19.  On November 18, MLI hosted a Reproductive Health Roundtable focused on exploring what the major factors were that contributed to Rwanda’s advances in reproductive health and the increase in family planning prevalence and the current challenges facing MLI’s focus countries.  The importance of political leadership, innovative health financing, and strong RH technical programs at the national level were all identified as key to advancing RH, particularly family planning, at the country level.

Meet the Minister: Senegal
The government of Senegal appointed a new Minister of Health and Prevention for Senegal, Modou Diagne Fada, on December 4, 2009. Honorable Diagne was the Senegal’s first Minister of Youth from 2000-2001 and later he was appointed as Minister of the Environment. As Minister of Health Honorable Diagne seeks to increase the focus on disease prevention as a way to improve population health and achieve health sector development goals.

Upcoming Events
-    May 17-22, 2009: 3rd Annual MLI Reception and MLI meetings during the World Health Assembly
-    January 2010: Second national workshop to scale-up mutuelles de santé in Mali
-    January 2010: Balanced scorecard workshop with health sector leaders and partners

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