Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Dokotoro Project: Volunteer-led Effort to Translate "Where There is No Doctor" into Bambara

While getting health care coverage in the Unites States is one thing, finding a doctor usually isn't an issue. So unless you've traveled to less-resourced countries, it's hard to imagine that in many parts of the world, there simply isn't a doctor, and health care is, in some senses, DIY. 
Where There Is No Doctor  600-page, easy-to-read primary health care manual written by David Werner (co-founder and director of HealthWrights, and a visiting professor at Boston University International School of Public Health), has long been the go-to for Peace Corp volunteers and other community health care workers and educators in developing countries. However this widely used tome to village health care isn't available elsewhere. While Where There Is No Doctor has been translated into 80 languages, a group of Peace Corps volunteers working in Mali realized Where There is No Doctor isn't available in Bambara, a language spoken by over 10 million people in Mali and other West African countries.
Enter The Dokotoro Project — Dokotoro means 'doctor' in Bambara— a volunteer-led effort to translate Where There is No Doctor  into Bambara. The Dokotoro Project, a volunteer-led and donor-driven effort is using the French West Africa edition (published by Senegal-based ENDA) as the basis of the Bambara version, and supplementing it with updated medical information from Hesperian’s latest (2013) edition. They've completed much of the work, however, roughly half of the chapters remain to be completed before the Mali edition of Where There Is No Doctor is ready to publish. To finish the work, Dokotoro is seeking more volunteers and funds to help pay their team of translators in Bamako. In the meantime, Dokotoro Project's fiscal sponsor, African Sky, will be taking the translated chapters to Mali for field-testing this fall.  
The Dokotoro Project is hosting a fundraiser in San Francisco to help fund the completion of the Bambara version of Where There Is No Doctor

Saturday, November 9, 2013
3 – 6 pm
At a private home near Buena Vista Park, San Francisco
RSVP to for location details. Space is limited. Please RSVP by October 31.
A request for donations will be made. If you cannot attend but would like to support the Dakotoro Project, please consider making an online donation or explore the website to learn about volunteer opportunities.
For more information, please visit:

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