Two million infested with malaria in Burundi annually


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Two million infested with malaria in Burundi annually

Malaria affects between two million and 2.5 million people per year in Burundi, which makes it the first cause of mortality in the country, Burundi Public Health Minister, Dr Emmanuel Gikoro, declared Sunday. This was disclosed a day before the celebration of the National Malaria Control Day, which has been instituted in the country since 1997. Gikoro said more than 50 per cent of consultation motives in the country’s health facilities are directly linked with malaria, which was endemic in the lowlands where the climate is generally hot and has now spread in mountainous regions, where it is usually cold and the disease was uncommon. Children under five years of age and pregnant women are the most vulnerable to malaria, according to the minister. The Burundian government has set a five-year term to roll-back malaria, he noted . Work has already started with the recent introduction of new medicines, based on the artesunate and amodiaquine molecule generally effective in 95% of cases treated in time, he said. Now, quinine is only prescribed in second intention, whereas fansidar and chloroquine were withdrawn from the local market of anti-malaria medicines for their confirmed ineffectiveness. The control of the disease pre-supposes a strong prevention policy, through the popularisation and general use of insecticide-treated bed nets, Gikoro said.

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