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How best to stop young children from falling sick, and dying, in places where malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and pneumonia are all too common?

In southern Mali, Médecins Sans Frontières and the Ministry of Health are building a circle of community-level and hospital-based care that is showing the way to effective prevention and treatment for children under five.

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In southern Mali, malnutrition is endemic—sometimes the cause, and other times the effect, of common childhood illnesses. Come rainy season, malaria wreaks its own havoc, so the chances for under-fives to fall sick and sicker, are many.

In southern Mali, malnutrition is endemic—sometimes the cause, and other times the effect, of common childhood illnesses. Come rainy season, malaria wreaks its own havoc, so the chances for under-fives to fall sick and sicker, are many.

Community health centres' wealth of services include immunisation, basic medical check-ups, and screening for malnutrition and malaria. Early diagnosis and intervention by trained staff means that many children can be treated on the spot.

Detecting and treating sickness early keeps children healthier, avoiding serious illness in most. But if a child is too sick, they can be swiftly referred for acute care in the 200-bed paediatrics hospital in Koutiala.

One typical day at Molobala health centre, we met three young children and their anxious mothers waiting in the observation unit. For a week our film crew followed them on their individual journeys. Here are their stories.

Discover the individual treatment pathways of our young patients.

  • YOUSSOUFYOUSSOUF

    YOUSSOUF

    7 months oldTreated for malnutrition and severe pneumoniaLearn more
  • TIEMOKOTIEMOKO

    TIEMOKO

    1 year oldTreated for severe acute malnutrition and shockLearn more
  • FATOUMATAFATOUMATA

    FATOUMATA

    3 years oldTreated for severe malaria and severe anaemiaLearn more

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