Two New Chapters Posted

examining a patient

How to examine a sick person — Comment examiner un malade — Banabagatɔ lajɛcogo

This weekend , we posted two new chapters to the Downloads page:

  • Chapter 3: How to examine a sick person
  • Chapter 4: How to take care of a sick person

There are 3 other chapters that have been translated (5, 7, and the glossary), and we’ll post them here as soon as we have time to format the files.

These files on the Downloads page are not the final version that will go to print, hopefully in 2015. Before then, there will be additional rounds of proofreading and field testing, and then they will be professionally laid out by our amazing design volunteers.

If you read French and/or Bambara, we would be thrilled to receive any comments or suggestions on the text.

May Project Update

Illustration from page 67 of “Là Où Il N’y a Pas de Docteur”

Illustration from page 67 of “Là Où Il N’y a Pas de Docteur”

The Steering Committee gathered again in May. We are continuing to make steady progress toward creating the first Bambara-language edition of Where There Is No Doctor, for use in Mali and across West Africa. Below are a few highlights of the meeting. As always, if you have any ideas or suggestions, or would like to contribute by volunteering for a few hours, contact

Translation and layout

Matt reported on the current status of the translation: we currently have about 1/3 of the book translated! The latest section to be finished and proofread is the glossary, and the translation team has also submitted Chapter 4 for proofreading.

The group also discussed new chapters that Hesperian is producing for its “21st century” WTIND. Some of the new chapters, such as Caring for Children, contain entirely new information which we will translate in addition to the latest 2013 edition of WTIND.

Finally, the Steering Committee agreed that it would be great to have another hackathon to make some real progress on layout. Jenna will contact volunteers for another session, to be followed by a barbeque. The hackathon is tentatively scheduled for the afternoon of Saturday, June 22 — if you live in the San Francisco Bay area, you are cordially invited to attend! Please contact volunteer coordinator Jenna Lohmann at

Other updates

Matt will also connect with Scott of African Sky this month to begin discussing in-country field testing of our translated chapters.

Zach has translated our static webpages into French, and Marlow will put them on our website. We hope this will allow us to start spreading the word about the Dokotoro project to the francophone world.

Michelle reported that she will be getting a few of foundation proposals out the door in the next two months, in hopes of raising more funds to keep our translation team going.

Five Facts about Health in Africa

We’re continuing to work diligently on our translation of Where There is No Doctor into Bambara. Thanks to our generous donors, we’ve been able to keep our translation team in Bamako busy, and they’ve recently finished the 9th chapter! Once the documents are properly formatted, we’ll post the PDF files on this website. We hope to conduct the first field tests with health workers in Mali later this summer, ni Ala sɔnna!

In the meantime, here’s a good reminder of why accurate, up-to-date health information is so vitally needed in Africa.

  • Africa has only 2.3 health workers per 1,000 people.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa has 24% of the global burden of disease but only 3% of the world’s health workforce.
  • The World Health Organization estimates there is a critical shortage of 2.4 million doctors, nurses and midwives in 57 countries around the world.
  • The physician-to-population ratio is 18 per 100,000 people continent-wide in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Six preventable causes account for 73% of deaths in children under 5: pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, neonatal pneumonia or sepsis, preterm delivery, and asphyxia at birth.

Source: Peace Corps Response email newsletter