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MSF in Burundi, 2012
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Obstetric services have been provided free of charge in Burundi since 2006, but equipment, referral systems and skilled staff are all lacking.
These gaps in services result in many maternal deaths. In Kabezi, Bujumbura Rural province, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) runs the Centre for Obstetric Emergencies, or CURGO, which provides free 24-hour care. Three ambulances transport women in need of emergency services from 24 health centers: on average, 250 women per month were admitted in 2012. According to
Obstetric Fistula care
Obstetric fistulas are injuries to the birth canal, most often a result of prolonged, obstructed labor. They cause incontinence, which can lead to social stigma. At the Urumuri health centre in Gitega, MSF offers fistula repair surgery, physiotherapy and psychosocial support. The team also works to raise awareness of the condition within the country through medical staff training and a telephone information line, among other measures.
National health statistics show that malaria accounts for over half of all medical consultations in Burundi, and it is the cause of more than a third of deaths in children under the age of five. In September MSF opened a severe malaria programme in Kirundo province, where over 300,000 people suffered from the disease in 2011. Staff in Kirundo hospital and 34 health centres in the province focus on diagnosis and introducing artesunate injections as the first choice of treatment at facilities. Artesunate is more effective, requires a shorter period of treatment, is easier to administer and has fewer side effects than other drugs.
At the end of 2012, MSF had 282 staff in Burundi. MSF started working in the country in1992.