Mali’s rampant conflicts have led to thousands fleeing the country in search of safer places.
This was the case of Jamilla Amadou, who fled the town of Gao in 2012 when extremist groups occupied the northern city.
But she decided to return home after years in exile to use her skills in nursing, to help rebuild her city despite the insecurity.
“We care for patients. People come with all kinds of ailments — malaria, diarrhoea, typhoid fever, stomach problems, high blood pressure. We see a lot of children, even more than adults. That’s very important.”
The 50-year-old says most of the patients she receives are mainly those displaced by conflict.
The violence come not only from jihadist groups with links to al Qaeda and the Islamic State but also from ethnic clashes that led to hospitals and public service facilities to be vandalized.
Today, she is the head nurse at Gao’s Centre de Santé de Référence, a general hospital serving about 550,000 people in northern Mali.
Jamilla says compared to the conflict in 2012 and 2013, the security situation seems to be improving.