Young Scientists

Dapa Diallo: "The fight against sickle cell disease is integrated into research in Mali"

At the YASE meeting, 6th July 2018, Dapa Diallo, Director of the Centre for Research and Control of Sickle Cell Disease in Bamako, Mali, presented his institution and how he manages to do research there.

"The aims of this centre are : first, to offer quality care with equity; second, to do research about the disease in ways that improve care; then to develop research in collaboration with national and international structures.

At the beginning, it was indeed a strong commitment of the Malian state. But the support came mainly from the Pierre Fabre Foundation to whom we presented a medical project. The Pierre Fabre Foundation has gathered a whole consortium of partners that enabled the construction of the centre, and now supports its operation.

There have been several difficulties. Initially, the big problem we faced was the lack of human resources. Of course, we also had to get the authority to understand what is at stake and to support us.

And then there was the equipment. All the equipment that I showed during my talk was not paid for by the state. It came through the research projects that we started and that allowed us to gradually purchase this equipment.

In terms of impact, in terms of care, we now know that care is well organised in Bamako, with an improvement in health scores and a very well reduced mortality rate.

And currently, this centre also provides training. Specialized training, particularly through a university degree that is continent-wide, since it recruits in West Africa, Central Africa and Madagascar."

Interview by Jean-François Haït

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