Health

Malaria declared epidemic in Burundi

The Minister of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS said yesterday that malaria has become an epidemic in Burundi. About 2 million people have contracted malaria since January 2017 and about 700 people have died of the disease in the same period, says the minister.

Josiane Nijimbere, Burundi Minister of Public Health: “Over 700 people have died of malaria and nearly 2 million people have contracted the disease since January 2017"

Josiane Nijimbere, Burundi Minister of Public Health: “Over 700 people have died of malaria and nearly 2 million people have contracted the disease since January 2017″

“Over 700 people have died from malaria and nearly 2 million have caught the disease since January 2017,” said Josiane Nijimbere, Minister of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS.

She said more than 8 million cases of malaria were detected in 2016 while over 3 thousand people died of the disease.
The most affected regions are the northern and eastern provinces of Kirundo, Muyinga, Karuzi, Cankuzo and the provinces of Ngozi, Kayanza, Rutana and Ruyigi to a lesser extent. “Pregnant women and children under 5 are the most affected by this disease,” she said.

The Burundian minister said the causes of the spread of this disease which was only observed in Imbo region, were the climate change, inappropriate use of insecticide-treated nets, and the extension of rice fields that make the environment favorable for the multiplication of mosquitoes.

US $ 31 million estimated for response plan

Josiane Nijimbere, said the Ministry of Public Health and its partners have undertaken a response plan to address this situation. “Burundi needs US $ 31 million to eradicate this epidemic,” she said.

The Minister urges the population to always sleep in insecticide-treated nets and rush to healthcare facilities as soon as the symptoms of malaria appear. The Government intends to gradually extend the treatment coverage against malaria through the provision of artesunate-amodiaquine medicines in remote sites up to 26 health districts. An intra-home spraying campaign is also planned in some selected areas. Nijimbere calls on partners to support Burundi in the fight against the epidemic.

Albert Mbonerane, Chairman of Action against Malaria in Burundi [ALUMA] said it was time to react. “Now that the Burundian Government has officially declared that malaria is an epidemic, it has to mobilize all the partners and resources needed to eradicate the disease. It is important that the Burundian population have access to health care”, Mbonerane says.

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