Two children, a 17 year-old man and a 60 year-old man have already died in a week due to cholera disease in Kagwema area of Gihanga Commune in Bubanza, a western Burundi Province. Quentin Marc Ngendakumana, chief of Kagwema hill, says the symptoms of the affected people are diarrhea and vomiting. "We rush the affected people to the hospital and 10 of them are already receiving treatment", says Ngendakumana. He, however, says the hospital is so far from the affected area. "We must walk about 10 km [approx 6 mi] to reach Gihanga Health District", he says.
The local chief says the Red Cross has already intervened by disinfecting the area and distributing tablets to put into water to be drunk. "We don't have drinking water and it is the main cause of the disease. We draw water from Rusizi and Gatunguru rivers", he says. The Kagwema chief urges health officials to immediately intervene when they are alerted. "An ambulance should be made available to rush patients to the hospital in order to be treated as soon as possible and prevent them from infecting others", says Ngendakumana.
Health officials in the locality call on inhabitants to improve hygiene conditions especially by boiling and filtering water from the rivers before using it. The National Institute of Public Health [INSP] has confirmed by means of laboratory exams that it is cholera. The Ministry of Public Health also calls on the population to consult health services in case of acute diarrhoea.
Nairobi, March 17, 2017 (AFP) - At least six people have died in Burundi in a night of torrential rain and flooding that triggered landslides and caused widespread damage, the government said Friday. "Torrential rains and strong winds struck several provinces last night," the country's first vice president, Gaston Sindimwo, said in reference to Thursday night. In the northwestern town of Mabayi, "a landslide smothered several houses, and rescuers found five victims", Sindimwo said, adding that search efforts were ongoing.
Flooding in a suburb of the capital Bujumbura left a person dead, he added. "It is a real disaster. Several other people were injured and we have so far counted 162 destroyed homes," said the first vice president, who also coordinates a crisis cell tasked with responding to natural disasters. "But the government is working on coming to the help of those affected."
Witnesses in Bujumbura said the storm occurred on Thursday evening, causing significant property damage. The Carama, Buterere and Kinama districts of the capital were still flooded on Friday. Dozens of people died across Burundi during the rainy season, which began in September and ended in February, Sindimwo said. Flooding also destroyed hundreds of houses and swathes of farmland.
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2017 15:21:37 +0100
Nairobi, March 14, 2017 (AFP) - About 700 people have died from malaria in Burundi so far this year, the health minister said, with the authorities having registered 1.8 million infections in a rising epidemic. "Burundi faces a malaria epidemic," Josiane Nijimbere said Monday, commenting on a World Health Organization (WHO) report. From January 1 to March 10 this year, 1.8 million infections were registered in Burundi, according to the WHO.
According to Nijimbere, the latest figures constitute a 17 percent increase from the same period last year. "Some 700 deaths" have been registered since January, the minister added. In 2016, an estimated 8.2 million people were infected and 3,000 people died in mountainous Burundi, which is home to around 11 million people. UN officials and medical sources say Burundi's stock of anti-malaria medication is nearly empty. Nijimbere put the cost of fighting malaria at $31 million (29 million euros), as she appealed for donations to help fight the disease. She attributed the rise in infections to climate change, increased marshland for rice-growing and the population's misuse of mosquito nets.
Burundi has been plunged into chaos since President Pierre Nkurunziza's controversial decision in April 2015 to run for a third term. Hundreds of people have been killed and hundreds of thousands of others have fled the country. The crisis also led to a 54 percent cut to the government's health budget in 2016 from the previous year. "This malaria crisis is even more dramatic because it is striking an impoverished, hungry population that has no resources and for whom even the slightest shock can have life-or-death consequences," a diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Burundi has declared a malaria epidemic after more than 9 million cases were recorded since last year .
According to the Burundi's Health minister Dr Josiane Nijimbere, more than 3700 people have died from the mosquito-borne disease since 2016.
"There is an increase of 13 percent of the cases related to malaria", she said adding that this "is why we have decided to declare the disease as an epidemic".
She singled out Kirundo, Muyinga and Kayanza in northern Burundi and Cankuzo in the east as the areas in which an increase in the number of people suffering from the disease have been reported. "The situation is further compounded by climate change and prolonged drought leading to people going without food, she said".
"The World Health Organization (WHO's) priority now is to work with the Burundi Ministry of Health to finalize the outbreak response plan, engage in resource mobilization and provide technical support including deploying malaria specialists", Dr Walter Kazad i Mulombo, the WHO representative in the country told The EastAfrican.
About 3.1 million USD are needed for the response plan, according to both government and WHO. Burundi previously declared a malaria epidemic in 2002. According to WHO, last year  212 million malaria cases were reported globally with 429 000 deaths recorded. [Byline: Moses Havyarimana] ================== [According to the WHO 2016 World Malaria Report (<http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/252038/1/9789241511711-eng.pdf?ua=1>), the incidence of malaria in Burundi increased more than 50 percent from 2010 to 2015. Up to 75 percent of the population is covered by insecticide treated bed nets. The national expenditure on malaria control is less than 4 USD per capita and 95 percent of the cost of the control program is covered by international donors. - ProMED Mod.EP]
An alert of a suspected outbreak of cholera in Kabezi health district, Bujumbura rural province, was notified to the World Health Organisation country office on 28 July 2016 by the Burundian Ministry of Health. An outbreak was declared by the Minister of Health on 03 August 2016.
As of 02 September 2016, a total of 206 cholera cases including one death (CFR: 0.5%) have been notified from four health districts geographically clustered in and around Bujumbura and one health district to the south of the country (Nyanza Lac). The affected districts are Kabezi (120 cases), Zone Sud (65 cases), Zone Nord (16 cases), Bugarama (1 case) and Nyanza Lac (4 cases). Reported daily case numbers were steadily increasing from the beginning of August, reaching a plateau around 13 August. Since then, on average 6-8 cases has been reported every day. Specimens were collected from 21 patients and 11 tested positive for Vibrio cholerae in the laboratory. Additionally, two water samples were collected from rivers used by residents in affected communities. Laboratory investigations detected Escherichia coli, suggesting contamination with faecal matter. The first cholera case was reported from Burundi in 1978, and since then, cases have periodically been detected in the provinces bordering Lake Tanganyika and the Imbo plains.
There is concern that the cholera outbreak could spread further in Burundi and across the border due to the regular mobility of the population and the current movement of refugees into and out of Burundi.
The government of Burundi together with WHO country office and AFRO Médecins Sans Frontières, Red Cross, UNICEF and other international and non-governmental organisations have initiated an outbreak response. A response plan is being drafted and to date, three cholera treatment centres (CTC) were set up in Kabezi, Ruziba and Bujumbura Centre district. Further patients are treated in Nyanza Lac hospital. WASH interventions including the provision of water bladders, distribution of chlorination tablets and disinfection of households have been initiated but are insufficient as these interventions have only targeted affected households and their immediate surroundings. Social mobilisation and education in affected communities is ongoing to encourage safe water, food and hygiene behaviours and provide information on cholera transmission routes. Further support was provided from WHO HQ with deployment of an epidemiologist to Burundi.
As of 28 August 2016, the number of daily reported cholera cases has stabilised but has not yet declined. Geographical spread of cases is still reported in health districts in and around Bujumbura and now also to the Southern part of the country in Nyanza Lac (fisherman travelling from Kabezi district). Due to poor access to safe drinking water, further cases may be expected. The rainy season has not yet started and is expected to begin in the month of September. Given the regular mobility of the population and the current movement of refugees into and out of Burundi, the possibility of further spread of cases exists, particularly if cases occur in refugee populations living in crowded conditions with limited access to water. Further assessments of the situation are ongoing. WHO does not recommend any travel or trade restriction to Burundi based on the currently available information.