March 25, 2010
Burundi 2010 © Martina Bacigalupo
Burundi has been grappling with a serious increase of malaria patients since the start of the year. MSF teams have been cooperating with Burundi authorities to fight the disease’s spread by treating patients and distributing mosquito nets to prevent new infections.
The mobile clinics play a critical role in reaching people living scattered among the hills who can otherwise be hard to access. Each of the 16 mobile clinics visits a hill three times a week. Feverish patients (or patients who report they had a fever) can be examined free of charge and receive whatever treatment they require. The more serious cases are transferred to the provincial hospital. The mobile clinics have already examined more than 32,000 people and found that more than 70 percent of them had malaria.
Strengthening the Hospitals
MSF currently provides support to the provincial hospitals of Ngozi and Kayanza in order to ensure adequate and free treatment of patients. In these two facilities the internal medicine, pediatric and emergency wards have all been reinforced with donations of drugs and other medical material. In order to relieve hospital wards, MSF has opened specialized services in tents for treating patients with complicated malaria. MSF has also trained medical staff so as to bolster hospital teams.
Mosquito Net Distribution
The mosquitoes responsible for the spread of malaria are most active at night. Sleeping under a mosquito net therefore offers valuable protection against the disease. MSF has already distributed 36,000 mosquito nets, and is raising awareness in the population on how to use them properly, thereby ensuring real protection.
© 2013 Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)