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EFM equipment for a gynaecological hospital in Bamako, Mali  

Towards the end of September, one of our Wednesday meetings was attended by Assitan Soumare, a student from Mali studying medicine at the University of Bonn. She reported on the difficult situation in the state-run gynaecological hospital in Bamako (Mali), where she had completed a five-week placement the previous summer. As this hospital offers free treatment, it is the only opportunity for poor women to obtain medical care for gynaecological problems or when giving birth. Accordingly, the birthing station there is often at full capacity, with up to 20 births happening each day.

Recently, the station’s only piece of EFM (electronic foetal monitoring) equipment, which is used to monitor the mother and unborn child shortly before birth and which provides vital information, broke down. Assitan Soumare would now like very much to purchase two replacement devices for the birthing station. She is already in contact with a German organisation, Technologie Transfer Marburg (TTM), which sells used medical equipment, which has quoted a reasonable price for two EFM devices. TTM is also prepared to organise the transport of the equipment.

Assitan is also a founder member of the AFRUMA organisation, which helps Malinese women in rural communities and which is based in Bamako. The members of AFRUMA will be able to organise the handover of the equipment to the hospital’s birthing station. As the need for EFM equipment is very urgent, and Assitan Soumare impressed us with her commitment and competence, we decided straight away to assume the costs for the two devices including transport to Mali, a total of 1,940 euros. It may also be possible to repair the faulty device on-site at low cost.

It also looks likely that a former action five member, currently working in Bamako, will be able to visit the hospital to get an idea of conditions at the birthing station.

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