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

Insecticide spraying has targeted nine of the most affected districts in remote communities to reduce malaria.
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.
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.
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
Pélagie Nzikobanyanka, a hill farmer, and her family of five children received bed nets in a recent community distribution.
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.
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.
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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