June 22, 2018 - In 2017, the Université des Sciences, des Techniques et des Technologies de Bamako (University of Science, Techniques and Technologies of Bamako - USTTB) requested that a 5-day course on using the Lives Saved Tool be integrated into their second year Masters of Public Health curriculum for all three available specializations (nutrition, epidemiology and community health). The course was officially adopted as part of the curriculum on in January 2018, and the first iteration of the course took place from 18-22 June, 2018.
LiST was used in Mali to evaluate the mortality targets set out in national plan within the context of a Global Affairs Canada (GAC)-funded National Evaluation Platform (NEP) initiative implemented by the Institute for International Programs of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (IIP-JHU) from 2014-2018. In-country home institutions were national public health research institutions, namely the Centre de Recherche et de Documentation pour la Survie de l’Enfant (CREDOS), the Institut National de la Recherche en Santé Publique (INRSP), the Institut National de la Statistique (INSTAT), the Direction National de la Santé within the Ministère de la Santé de et l’Hygiène Publique (DNS/MSHP), and the Cellule de Planification et de Statistique (CPS/SS-DS-PF).
The findings from this first evaluation – namely that the mortality targets established in national strategic plans would not be reached – led to the recommendation by the steering committee that LiST be used to aid in setting more realistic national mortality targets. It also generated interest in using LiST as a strategic planning tool at the national level, and training regional staff to allow them to use LiST for evidence-based regional health planning.
From June 18-22, 2018, 21 second-year MPH USTTB students took part in a training facilitated by IIP-JHU members as well as one Bamako-based NEP Technical Task Team member. All but one of the students are medical doctors who in most cases have already been practicing for a number of years either as medical professionals or in public health institutions. All three streams (nutrition, epidemiology, and community health) took part in the training.
Students were trained on the technical considerations for using LiST, on nutrition in LiST, and on creating sub-national projections in LiST. Students then used the software to create projections and carry out a number of hands-on tasks. The overall objective of the training was for students to gain exposure to the tool and understand how to manipulate it, as well as how it could be useful for strategic planning in the future.