News FocusProfile: Ogobara Doumbo

Mali Researcher Shows How to Reverse Brain Drain

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Science  24 Jun 2011:
Vol. 332, Issue 6037, pp. 1498-1499
DOI: 10.1126/science.332.6037.1498

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Serving one of the world's poorest countries, Mali's health system is stretched to the breaking point. Yet here in the capital city of Bamako, Ogobara Doumbo has built the Malaria Research and Training Center (MRTC) and nurtured, by his count, five generations of researchers committed to solving one of the continent's most intransigent problems. Since co-founding MRTC with support from the U.S. National Institutes of Health in 1992, Doumbo has led it into state-of-the-art research on mosquito genetics, vaccine testing, and drug resistance. Furthermore, MRTC supports a network of research-affiliated clinics throughout Mali in very basic village settings. Doumbo has cultivated this cadre for 15 years, what he calls "the bush doctor initiative," to bring top-quality medical research and practice to villages.

  • * David A. Taylor traveled to Mali with support from the International Reporting Project.