In 2018, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) continued to treat victims of trauma in the Burundian capital and to assist in preventing and responding to disease outbreaks across the country.

The landlocked East African country of Burundi is one of the world’s poorest nations.

Since independence from Belgium in 1962, Burundi’s 10.5 million people have been plagued by civil war. Tensions still exist between the usually-dominant Tutsi minority and the Hutu majority. 

Due to current unrest in the country, thousands of Burundians have fled across the border to Tanzania. Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is helping tens of thousands of these refugees in the Nyarugusu and Nduta camps.

MSF first worked in Burundi in 1992. Our work in the country has focused on providing responses to endemic and epidemic diseases, social violence and healthcare exclusion.

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MSF’s work in Burundi: 2018

In Bujumbura, we provided care for victims of trauma and burns in the 68-bed l’Arche Kigobe hospital. Our medical teams carried out 22,400 consultations in the emergency room and over 4,000 surgical interventions during the year. Over six per cent of the patients admitted were victims of violence. In the outpatient department, our teams performed almost 9,500 medical consultations, 20,000 wound dressings and 14,300 physiotherapy sessions.

After responding to a significant increase in malaria cases in Ryansoro district (Gitega province) in 2017, we followed up in 2018 with indoor residual spraying, a technique that consists of spraying individual houses with insecticide to kill off mosquitoes. In two waves over a six-month period, 322 Burundian Ministry of Health staff and locally recruited volunteers supported by MSF sprayed more than 35,000 houses in rural areas, offering protection to a total of 160,000 people. We also provided malaria treatment at 14 health centres and Ntita district hospital, and supported the local blood bank in Gitega. 

We maintain the ability to respond to emergencies in Burundi, and were therefore able to support the Ministry of Health during a cholera outbreak that hit the town of Rumonge at the end of the year. The outbreak was announced on 28 December and we had a team on site that same day. We provided medical and logistical supplies, an ambulance and training to the ministry, as well as clean water for the community.

find out more in our international activity report >


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