Bamako – In the consulting room of Clinique ESTHER in Bamako, Dr Beyan DIARRA received a new female patient. The doctor examined the young woman referred by an agent from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). He prescribed additional tests and gave instructions to his team.

The patient was an irregular migrant whose health condition had deteriorated as a result of distress experienced on her journey. She was immediately provided with free medical assistance, thanks to a partnership between IOM Mali and ESTHER clinic.

“Medical assistance, under IOM’s partnership with ESTHER clinic, consists of the provision of medical services, health assessments and the provision of inpatient and catering facilities for migrants referred to us,” explained the doctor.

A new patient in the consultation room at the ESTHER clinic in Bamako with Dr Beyan DIARRA

Medical assistance for migrants is a component of the “Cooperation on Migration and Partnerships to Achieve Sustainable Solutions” (COMPASS) initiative, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and implemented by IOM and its partners. This global initiative, launched in 2021, is designed to contribute to enhancing access to protection for migrants and combating trafficking in persons, while promoting regular, orderly and safe migration in 14 countries.

In two years in Mali, over 326 vulnerable migrants have received medical assistance thanks to COMPASS. In addition to contributing to migrants’ well-being, this initiative has enabled the clinic in partnership with the IOM in Bamako to strengthen its technical facilities and improve the care it provides, says Dr Beyan Diarra, Medical Officer at Clinique ESTHER.

“Under the COMPASS initiative, we have provided assistance to 326 migrants in two years. These are people we have provided with care in a professional manner. The specialist doctors have been put in better working and exploration conditions, given the polymorphism of pathologies, in particular psychiatric pathologies.”

According to Dr Beyan Diarra, the medical assistance provided to migrants saves lives.

“There was one case that really struck me. It was a female patient who was referred to us in a critical condition. But thanks to this treatment, she recovered her health and was reintegrated into society.”

In addition to the medical component, at least 514 victims of trafficking have received assistance from IOM Mali and its partners over the past two years, thanks to the COMPASS initiative. Assisted voluntary return and reintegration, assistance in obtaining documents and psychosocial support are the main components of this assistance.

Doctor Diarra assisted by a member of his team during examinations on a patient

Under COMPASS, IOM has also supported Mali in validating and disseminating a National Referral Mechanism (NRM) for the protection of victims of trafficking, as well as conducting studies, raising awareness of the risks associated with irregular migration and developing counter-trafficking planning tools.


This story was written by Bob Quenum and Moussa Tall.

For more information, please contact:

the Public Information Unit at IOM Mali. Email:, Tel.: +223 90 50 00 06.

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