Gabriel Pediatrics, a Staten Island Pediatric Practice, Discusses How Community Outreach in Mali Saved Thousands of Children’s Lives

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In response to an article published by VOA News, Gabriel Pediatrics discusses the amount of hard work from doctors in Mali that prevented disease in children.

With the hard work coming from these doctors, there's a much higher chance of it being treated successfully.

Gabriel Pediatrics responds to an article published by VOA News on December 18th, which reports that doctors in Mali would go from house to house, instead of waiting for children to come to them, to see if they were showing signs of deadly diseases.

According to the VOA News article titled, “Community-Based Health Program Reduces Child Mortality in Mali,” researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) said that “the rate of child mortality in a community outside of Bamako, Mali, fell tenfold between 2008 and 2011 to just 17 deaths per 1,000 children under the age of five” after a new innovative health intervention program was introduced by Mali’s Ministry of Health and international NGOs.

As opposed to waiting for pediatric patients to seek help from them, Mali doctors started going door-to-door, visiting more than 7,000 households each month in order to look for sickly children or those showing any of “16 danger signs for childhood disease.” The 16 noticeable symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or diarrhea, are related to multiple deadly diseases. The health care workers either treated the sick child within their homes or referred them to clinics. Follow-up visits were regularly made within 24 and 48 hours of the initial visit.

As a part of the initiative, health care became free for children under five in order to save families money and make it more affordable.

UCSF researcher, Dr. Ari Johnson, attributes much of the program’s success to the communal cooperation. “The health system aimed to reach patients not only early in the course of their illness, but also even before they got sick, including interventions in education, community organizing and employment opportunities. All of which aimed to empower community members to overcome the root causes of what made them vulnerable to disease in the first place: conditions of poverty,” he says in the article.

A representative from Gabriel Pediatrics believes that the work that these doctors have done is something that should be marveled by pediatric doctors everywhere. “These doctors took initiative to make sure their country could still raise children,” the representative says. “In many cases, if a disease or condition is discovered earlier by doctors, there’s a much higher chance of it being treated successfully. With the hard work coming from these doctors, it makes life a lot easier for children and parents in Mali.”

Gabriel Pediatrics provides comprehensive pediatric care to children throughout the New York area with practices both in Brooklyn and Staten Island. Our board certified pediatricians and experienced staff help provide a very warm and nurturing environment for both you and your children. Our approach combines the latest treatment methods with the personal attention you should expect from your doctor. Simply put, we understand the importance of communication and trust and we are earning that trust one family at a time.

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Scott Darrohn
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