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MSF in Burundi, 2007
Field Staff: 442
Reason for Intervension:
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As development agencies increase their activities in Burundi, MSF has been able to hand over some of its projects to the Ministry of health and other humanitarian actors. however, the health situation in many parts of the country remains precarious, particularly in the area of women’s health.
In 2007, two years after Burundi held its first post-war democratic elections and four years after the end of the long-running civil war, MSF handed over programs in Kinyinya, Kayanza and Karuzi.
The health situation in many parts of the country remain precarious, particularly in the area of women’s health.
MSF had been working in Kinyinya hospital, Ruyigi district, since 2003. As well as providing secondary care in the hospital, MSF staff also provided medical and material support to seven health centers around the district. However as development agencies increase their activities in Burundi, MSF has been able to hand over some of its projects to the Ministry of Health and other actors. In Musema, Kayanza Province where MSF has been working since 2004, four clinics and a hospital were handed over to the Baptist church in May. In Karuzi district, where MSF had worked since 1995, the European Community will start supporting a hospital and 12 health centers at the beginning of 2008.
Addressing the health needs of women
Women’s health issues are often overlooked. Sexual violence is extensive and there is a clear need for quality free care. Medical teams at MSF’s Seruka center in Bujumbura cared for 1,430 victims of violence, 63 per cent of whom were under 19 years and 14 per cent were under five. The Seruka center remains the only such center in Burundi open seven days a week. After five years of activities, the center is well established and well known by women in the area.
In the rural district of Bujumbura, MSF supports 12 maternity clinics with the management of obstetrical emergencies. Ambulances collect emergency cases and transfer them to private clinics in Bujumbura where they receive specialized care. However, the worsening security situation around the capital since August means that transfers are now only possible during the day as the roads are too dangerous at night.
MSF is currently building a specialized clinic in the Kabezi area. When finished, this will provide free quality emergency obstetric care so that women with complicated deliveries will not have to travel to the capital for medical care.
MSF has worked in Burundi since 1992.