Explain what the "innovation" is about, e.g., is it the idea and/or the model you use to accomplish the idea, or your understanding of the target population, etc.?
An unavoidable tension exist between two global problems – how to provide quality care to the poor, and how to fund it. Access to basic services remains elusive to the poor as financial, geographic and knowledge barriers often keep the indignant from seeking – and receiving – proper and affordable basic care, while simultaneously, health systems in the global south are outstretched, underfinanced, poorly equipped and inadequately staffed, an environment where a community’s health care “provider” simply can’t provide.
Drawing upon successful advances in accessible and quality services delivery from around the world, Mali Health will develop a model of primary care delivery in poor resource slum environments, addressing these two dilemmas seemingly in endless conflict. Through the integration of community health workers, use of treatment algorithms and mobile tools, streamlined processes for health delivery, adaptive financing, and the development of systemic quality improvement mechanisms, our model clinic will revolve around user-orientation and outcomes, increasing usage and demand while improving efficiencies and cost structures in Mali’s decentralized health system.
Describe how your innovation model is distinct from any other organization in your field?
While similar models have been used to increase access to low-cost, high quality services in targeted arenas like cataract surgery, and cardiac care, Mali Health’s model is the first used to provide primary care in the developing world. The model also focuses specifically on the emergent challenge of providing access to care for peri-urban communities, the fastest growing populace in the world, not by replacing or competing with present services, but by improving existing institutions by strengthening the ability and efficiency of a model primary clinic to provide quality and affordable care.
What type of operating environment and internal organizational factors make your innovation successful?
With a weak and highly decentralized health system, the environment in Mali is particularly amenable to such an intervention that improves efficiencies and strengthens primary care clinics at the community level. Mali’s context is one where far too many of the poor and vulnerable succumb to preventable conditions that will be addressed this model. More, working in the greater community for over five years with a visible record of success, Mali Health has established the trust and expertise needed to identify and successfully undertake such an endeavor.
How do you make sure you constantly innovate in light of (potential) external challenges, or your growth plan?
Already operating in Mali’s challenging and shifting context, Mali Health has been successfully expanded and improvement operational activities over the last several years. More, continual innovation and improvement rest at the core of this model through disruptive change and mechanisms for continual feedback and development. Through ambitious goal setting, data transparency, opportunities for beneficiary and expert feedback and support, and the inclusion of relevant actors to shares results and lessons, Mali Health’s model is framed around a dynamism that not only allows for innovation, but necessitates it.