700 dead as malaria 'epidemic' hits Burundi

March 14, 2017

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 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 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.

Explore further: French drugmaker delivers first semi-synthetic malaria drugs

Related Stories

French drugmaker delivers first semi-synthetic malaria drugs

August 12, 2014
French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi announced Tuesday the delivery of the first anti-malaria drugs using a semi-synthetic version of their key ingredient to millions of patients in Africa.

Lack of funds threatens malaria progress: WHO

December 13, 2016
Global progress on controlling malaria risks stalling due to an "urgent need" for more funding, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned in its annual report on Tuesday.

Australia gives $104 million to fighting malaria

November 2, 2012
(AP)—Australia will spend more than 100 million Australian dollars ($104 million) over the next four years to help reduce deaths from malaria in the Asia-Pacific region.

Burkina Faso team aims to beat malaria with soap

December 16, 2016
Thrusting their arm into a box full of hungry mosquitoes, a group of brave volunteers in a Burkina Faso laboratory test an innovative weapon in the fight against malaria—soap.

Comoros say on the cusp of eradicating malaria

November 22, 2016
Though victory is yet to be officially declared, Comoros health authorities believe the three islands of the Indian Ocean archipelago are on the cusp of being malaria-free.

Cholera kills four, infects 400 in Burundi

August 22, 2011
Cholera has killed at least four people in an outbreak in the past three weeks in western Burundi, where more than 400 people are infected, a health ministry official said Monday.

Recommended for you

New long-acting approach for malaria therapy developed

January 22, 2018
A new study, published in Nature Communications, conducted by the University of Liverpool and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine highlights a new 'long acting' medicine for the prevention of malaria.

Virus shown to be likely cause of mystery polio-like illness

January 22, 2018
A major review by UNSW researchers has identified strong evidence that a virus called Enterovirus D68 is the cause of a mystery polio-like illness that has paralysed children in the US, Canada and Europe.

Creation of synthetic horsepox virus could lead to more effective smallpox vaccine

January 19, 2018
UAlberta researchers created a new synthetic virus that could lead to the development of a more effective vaccine against smallpox. The discovery demonstrates how techniques based on the use of synthetic DNA can be used to ...

Study ends debate over role of steroids in treating septic shock

January 19, 2018
The results from the largest ever study of septic shock could improve treatment for critically ill patients and save health systems worldwide hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

New approach could help curtail hospitalizations due to influenza infection

January 18, 2018
More than 700,000 Americans were hospitalized due to illnesses associated with the seasonal flu during the 2014-15 flu season, according to federal estimates. A radical new approach to vaccine development at UCLA may help ...

Flu may be spread just by breathing, new study shows; coughing and sneezing not required

January 18, 2018
It is easier to spread the influenza virus (flu) than previously thought, according to a new University of Maryland-led study released today. People commonly believe that they can catch the flu by exposure to droplets from ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.