Tuberculosis persists in Burundi, Ministry of Health reports

“Tuberculosis is still spreading in Burundi,” said Herménégilde Nzimenya, Director of the National Integrated Program to Fight against Leprosy and Tuberculosis (PNILT) on 3 April. More than 7,200 cases of tuberculosis patients were recorded in 2018 while in 2017 more than 7800 cases were recorded according to him.

Herménégilde Nzimenya, Director of PNILT “Tuberculosis is still spreading in Burundi,”

Nzimenya regrets that many people continue to catch this deadly disease that is transmitted through the air mentioning that 18 cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis patients were recorded in 2018. “We regret that many people are not aware of the fight against this disease that has existed in Burundi since long ago, “he says. Nzeyimana believes that the fact that TB continues to spread shows that people are neglecting it. The government fails despite the strategies it adopted to fight this disease. He explains that people do not screen for TB in time.

For Nzimenya, the resurgence of tuberculosis is caused by the spread of HIV / AIDS since people living with HIV / AIDS are more exposed to tuberculosis and the extreme poverty the bulk of the Burundian population lives in. “If someone suffers from malnutrition, his humanitarian system is not strong enough to resist TB,” he says calling on everyone to contribute to raising awareness of the fight against tuberculosis.

He asks people to screen for it after noticing its clinical symptoms such as coughing for two weeks, losing weight, lack of appetite… “Tuberculosis screening and treatment are free of charge,” he says, adding that all hospitals in Burundi can diagnose and treat the disease.