When health crises collide–tackling malaria, COVID-19 and Ebola in Burundi

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Insecticide spraying has targeted nine of the most affected districts in remote communities to reduce malaria.
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Thanks to the government of Burundi, UNDP, the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, UNICEF and USAID more than 6.8 million bed nets have been distributed.
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Ngirukwigira Jacqueline, is a farmer from Ngara hill. Despite living in a high altitude area, with the onslaught of climate change, she has gotten ill with malaria.
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With a hilly and mountainous landscape, malaria in Burundi is exacerbated by climate change, as mosquitos are reaching ever higher altitudes. Above, the hills of Burundi. Below: Havyarimana Fidel, 34, a community health worker at the Kiganda health center, makes an awareness visit with a household on Kiganda hill. Top photo: Robin Nieuwenkamp/Shutterstock.com; bottom photo: Photo: UNDP Burundi/ Fleury Kid Ineza
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Pélagie Nzikobanyanka, a hill farmer, and her family of five children received bed nets in a recent community distribution.
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4.7 million cases were recorded in the first six months of the year, nearly half of the population. Despite this, the mortality rate was halved thanks to large-scale preparedness including using insecticide.
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The national health crisis centre, developed during the Ebola outbreak, is now the base for the country COVID-19 response, fully equipped with 200 smartphones and laptops.
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Ndayiziga Suavis, a farmer from Gatsinga hill, has had drug-resistant malaria. She now uses the malaria preventing practice of covering her bed with a mosquito net. “I spent three days not knowing where I was. If you have malaria symptoms, you need to get treatment as quickly as possible.”

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