Malaria death toll in Burundi rises

Mosquito close up

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) latest weekly bulletin reporting on public health emergencies in the WHO African Region states that Burundi is continuing to experience a ‘very high incidence’ of malaria cases across the country.

According to the report, from 1 January to 28 July, a cumulative total of 5,732,282 cases were reported across the country, and 1,855 deaths have occurred, representing a 105 per cent and 26 per cent increase in the number of cases and deaths respectively compared to the same period in 2018.

The report posits that the very high number of cases could be attributed in part to low access to and utilisation of insecticide-treated mosquito nets, as well as the high vector density and aggressive behavioural and feeding patterns of mosquitos.

The National Malaria Task Force led by the Ministry of Health with technical support from WHO and other partners continue to meet weekly to review the situation and adapt strategies.

Travellers are advised to take precautions to protect themselves from malaria. These revolve around avoiding mosquito bites by using insect repellant, mosquito nets and wearing long-sleeved tops and trousers.