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Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin / Germany


Gabriel Touré Hospital, University of Sciences, Technics and Technologies in Bamako / Mali


Hassan II University Hospital in Casablanca / Morocco


Siemens Healthineers / Morocco

i-STARC: A North-South-South Capacity-Building Project using digital platforms to improve care of gynaecological cancers

Creating change in healthcare

The programme “University and Hospital Partnerships in Africa” (HKP) supports partnerships between university hospitals in Germany and in sub-Saharan Africa. The main effort is focused on capacity strengthening, experience sharing and knowledge exchange through professional dialogue, repeat visits and training.

The difference and advantage compared with other international cooperation initiatives is the collaboration with medical professionals in partner countries, which builds a high degree of trust and acceptance. The problem is jointly identified, and the activities collectively developed and always in line with national strategies.


  • With 1,24 million sq km, Mali is one of the largest countries in West Africa. Around 19 million people live in this landlocked country.
  • Historically Mali was the epicentre of the different empires of the Niger loop (the empires of Ghana, Mali and Songhai). Its cities Djenné and Timbuctu are the oldest in West Africa.
  • Since 2012, the country has been facing continuous political and military crises which have weakened the healthcare system and social relationships.
  • Life expectancy at birth in Mali was 57.5(m)/ 58.4(f) years in 2016.
  • The probability of dying before the age of five is 94 for 1,000 births in 2019.
  • The maternal mortality ratio per 100.000 live births was 562 in 2017.



In addition to the medical professionals, IT experts are also involved in the partnerships to discuss and find IT solutions to improve medical care.

HKP also supports public-private collaborations: These partnerships are supported through both funding and technical expertise by GIZ and private sector companies. It is a win-win-win situation for the partnerships, GIZ and the companies: The partnerships benefit from the support of both a development agency and a company with cutting-edge technical competence; GIZ leverages private funds through public money, and the enterprises extend their presence in the African healthcare market. GIZ, as the organisation implementing this programme on behalf of BMZ, conducts rigorous ethical and transparency screenings of its private-sector partners, making sure that the company works with the highest compliance to standards and that the project respects market competition, quality and sustainability.

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Quality improvement of cancer services in Mali

The global health community has recognised that women’s empowerment plays a key role in strengthening local health behaviour and attaining well-being. Currently, the impact of gynaecological cancers on morbidity and mortality in the sub-Saharan and North African region represents a major global health concern. Public health measures such as the establishment of cancer prevention and early detection programmes, treatment guidelines, and follow-up algorithms are internationally available, but not standardised and adapted to these regions.

Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women in Mali with an age-standardised incidence rate of 24.4 per 100 000 women and is the second most common female cancer in women aged 15 to 44 years. About 2,206 new cervical cancer cases are diagnosed and registered annually in Mali, mainly at a late stage when treatment is difficult and the survival rate low. This is due to health system gaps in prevention, early detection, and management. This is also the case for ovarian and other gynaecological cancers. Lack of access to up-to-date knowledge in cancer management for health care professionals is one of the major obstacles for high quality cancer care in many sub-Saharan countries.

The iSTARC partnership (Digitally Supported Trans-African Quality AssuRance and Capacity Building) focuses on capacity building and training for prevention, early detection and treatment regimes and strategies in the field of women`s cancers, particularly cervical and ovarian cancer, adapted to existing national resources and health systems. The project builds on an already well-established partnership between Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Hassan II University Hospital in Casablanca (Morocco), and extends to a first sub-Saharan partner in Bamako (Mali).

It targets all clinical personnel working on different levels of patient care: nurses and physicians performing screening, deciding on and conducting treatment, as well as laboratory personnel and scientists performing tests and running clinical trials. The iSTARC project provides key medical knowledge and exchange by using digital tools for tumour boards and webinars and fosters training and networking through annual summer schools.

Morocco and Berlin support the partnership by providing external experts for webinars and participating in the tumour boards and summer schools.

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A public-private partnership: the eHealth solution in collaboration with Siemens Healthineers 

GIZ has joined forces with Siemens Healthineers Morocco, which is co-funding this partnership project in order to make technological innovation in cancer diagnostics and training accessible to Mali’s healthcare professionals – to improve knowledge and care for cancer patients. Siemens’ contribution to the project includes an adapted IT software for tumour boards and webinars. With this tool, the medical professionals in Mali will be in regular communication with their Moroccan and German peers and can discuss concrete cases and appropriate treatments. In addition, Siemens Healthcare SARL will set up a training platform to support the continuous training and capacity building of the Malian experts.

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Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin / Germany

 Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, a corporation under public law and a legal entity, is one of the largest university hospitals in Europe. It represents the medical faculty of both Humboldt University Berlin and Free University Berlin. Clinical care, research and teaching are delivered by physicians and researchers of the highest international standard. Charité stands for modern medical training in Germany with high scientific standards and combined care, responsibility, respect and entrepreneurship in university medicine. Charité proudly lays claim to more than half of all German Nobel Prize winners in Physiology or Medicine, including Emil von Behring, Robert Koch, and Paul Ehrlich.

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Dr. med. Sara Nasser MRCOG
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Charité Comprehensive Cancer Centre
Department of Gynaecology and Gynaecological oncology
Augustenburgerplatz 1
13353 Berlin


The University of Sciences, Technics and Technologies / Mali

The University of Sciences, Technics and Technologies has the only public faculty of Medicine and Dentistry in Mali with 8,000 medical students. The University has 29 undergraduate programmes including gynaecology and obstetrics. The total number of students enrolled is around 500.



Prof. Ibrahima Teguété
The University of Sciences, Technics and Technologies
Gabriel Touré Hospital
Centre Commercial Rue Van VOLLENHOVEN 267
T: +223 66 76 25 22

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The Hassan II University of Casablanca / Morocco

Established in 1975, Hassan II University of Casablanca (UH2C) is a public university which is the result of a recent merger since 1st September 2014 of two universities.There are over 24,000 total students, including local and foreign. Full-time faculty teachers and professors are over eleven hundred, making it the third largest university in Morocco. Official staff total 850 people.

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Prof. Mohammed Elkarroumi
University Hospital Ibn Rochd
9BP 9167, Casablanca

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Siemens Healthineers / Morocco

Siemens Healthineers enables healthcare providers to increase value by empowering them on their journey towards expanding precision medicine, transforming care delivery, and improving patient experience, all enabled by digitalizing healthcare. An estimated five million patients worldwide everyday benefit from their innovative technologies and services in the areas of diagnostic and therapeutic imaging, laboratory diagnostics and molecular medicine as well as digital health and enterprise services. Siemens Healthineers is a leading medical technology company with over 120 years of experience, 18,500 patents globally and with over 50,000 employees in more than 70 countries.

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Az-zoubayr El Ouarid
Siemens Healthineers Morroco
T: +212 (0) 661 913 887