Fondation Pierre Fabre

Improving access to specialist dermatological care for people in Mali

Main beneficiary country:

About the sponsor

CNAM-Ex Institut Marchoux - Faculté de Médecine et d'Odontostomatologie de Bamako

The CNAM-Ex Institut Marchoux is a public scientific and technological establishment founded under Order 36-PRM dated 15 August 2001 ratified by Law 009/AN dated 4 April 2002. It is home to Mali’s largest dermatology department. The department is managed by a professor in dermatology, assisted by over 10 dermatologists. Every year, the department delivers curative care to 25,000 to 30,000 people, mainly from regions within Mali but also from surrounding countries like Guinea and Mauritania. It helps to train specialist dermatologists, medical students, and nurses treating leprosy, and helps to treat people with leprosy.

Sector: Health: Healthcare professionals and structures

Country of origin: Mali

The organisation has:

Full-Time Equivalents
Service providers

Initiative overview

Healthcare themes targeted

  • Primary healthcare
  • Dermatology

Stage of development:

  • Pilot project/testing/trials

Area where initiative is utilised

  • National (in one country only)

Initiative start date

  • 10/25/2015


Financing method

  • Public (grant/subsidies, call for proposals/call for tender, etc.)
  • Private (private investors, crowdfunding, philanthropy, etc.)

Economic model(s)

  • Subsidies
  • For now, the initiative does not generate income as it is a pilot scheme. But we plan to incorporate an income stream in the future

About the initiative

Problem seeking to resolve: Treatment of skin diseases. Geographical access to dermatological care. CPD for dermatology professionals. Healthcare providers using new technology.

Proposed solution: Cheap to set up, savings for patient, fast treatment with no need to travel, sharing expertise between the outlying professional and the doctor, in both directions

Can be used as model for other fields.

Mali’s current dermatological context is characterised by the high frequency of skin diseases, the keen lack of skin specialists and the low levels of dermatological expertise among first aid providers. All of the country’s specialists practise in the capital (Bamako), and medical referrals do not work as the sick cannot afford or cannot travel (due to distance or isolation) to access care. To overcome these problems, healthcare providers are quick to seek out specialist opinion using a mobile phone, technology which has been flourishing in Africa in recent years. If appropriate diagnosis and treatment is obtained directly or indirectly (vie sending images), we can count on these frontline staff to treat certain sufferers. Information technology also offers the advantage of enabling the patient to benefit from the attention of a specialist in a distant location, without having to travel. With mobile coverage all over the country and easy internet access, we can hope to capitalise on this opportunity to overcome difficulties. This strategy of remote advise and assistance using communication technology is in line with the support for specialist secondary training that the Malian government is seeking to encourage. This has encouraged us to run a pilot to test the feasibility and assess the impact of using ICT to treat skin disease patients in outlying clinics in Mali. The project was the natural next step in a series of initiatives from the Malian dermatological authority, that the Fondation Pierre Fabre has always supported.

Fields of application:

Health professional training - Telemedicine (remote diagnosis and consultations)

Target audience

  • Healthcare professionals and structures (hospitals, healthcare centres/clinics, health networks)
  • Sick people

Initiative objectives

  • Improved treatment
  • Lower cost of medical referrals

Key figures

200 Number of beneficiaries since launch

25 Number of users per Year

Materials used

  • Cellular (mobile) phone
  • Smartphone
  • Tablet
  • Computer
  • Digital camera, 3G connection key and connected phone

Technologies used

  • Mobile telecommunications (without data connection)
  • Internet
  • Mobile app (Android, iOS, Windows Phone, HTML5, etc.)

Offline use


Open Source


Open Data


Independent evaluation

evaluated independently



Industrial: Startups, enterprises, etc.

Faculté de Médecine et d'Odontostomatologie

Academic entities: Universities, research laboratories, etc.


Health: Healthcare professionals and structures