World Bank finances USD 5 million to curb COVID-19 spread in Burundi

The National Assembly analyzed and adopted this June 16 a draft bill on the financing agreement of USD 5 million between the World Bank and Burundi in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

The bill was unanimously adopted by 103 MPs

Domitien Ndihokubwayo, the Finance Minister who presented the draft bill before Members of Parliament has said the project aims to prevent, detect, and respond to the threat caused by COVID-19 in Burundi.

“The World Bank via the International Development Association-IDA has granted USD five million to finance the preparation and response to COVID-19 in Burundi for 15 months- up to June 2021,” says Minister Ndihokubwayo adding that the amount will fill the gaps already identified and allow the decentralization of the COVID-19 diagnostic capacity to the national level.

He adds that the funds will be used to equip some public health institutions with materials to treat COVID-19 patients and to provide respirators to three central hospitals namely Prince Louis Rwagasore Clinic, Kamenge Military Hospital and Kamenge University Hospital.
He also says the funds will be used to identify and equip some isolated places for quarantine with a kit at regional and district level.

Pascal Nyabenda, Speaker of the National Assembly has raised a concern over the lack of enough masks among the health workers. “It would be better if the government provided enough masks to heath workers for their protection as well as patients. They receive different people suffering from different diseases including COVID-19.”

Domitien Ndihokubwayo has indicated that all health workers possess the masks for protection.
“It would be surprising to hear that there are health workers who don’t have masks while they are the first people to know how the pandemic fast spreads,” he says adding that there is need for a continuous sensitization.

“Some Burundians don’t know that the disease is terribly dangerous. Every person would abide by the already set preventive measures,” he says.

So far, Burundi has registered 104 positive cases of Coronavirus. 46 of them are said to have recovered and one is said to have been killed by the virus.