Religious, community and school leaders train to tackle Burundi’s biggest killer

"The use of mosquito nets is the most effective way to fight against malaria, but people still need to be trained on how and why they should use them," according to the Anglican Church of Burundi. Photo: Frank60/Shutterstock
Published November 14, 2017

Four-hundred people representing various faith, community and education sectors in Burundi have been trained to combat malaria, the main cause of death in the country. So far, this year, more than six million cases of malaria have been registered and more than 2,600 people have died. The training took place in Bururi and Mwaro districts – two of the four worst-hit areas of the country.

“The training aimed to reach people still living under the threat of malaria by bringing together efforts from teachers in schools and religious and community leaders to spread information related to the fight against malaria to the population,” the Anglican Church of Burundi said. “The situation is worsened by the ignorance of a major part of the population regarding prevention against malaria.”

There has been a mass distribution of mosquito nets throughout the country, to help quell the spread of the disease. “The use of mosquito nets is the most effective way to fight against malaria,” the Burundi church said, “but people still need to be trained on how and why they should use them.”

The Anglican Church of Burundi – also known as the Église Anglicane du Burundi, or EAB – has extensive health-related programmes, that it is seeking to expand. Its work involves prevention and care relation to HIV-AIDS in addition to malaria, reproductive health, the provision of clinics and hospitals, capacity building and education as part of integrated health programmes.

“As it continues to expand its health related programmes, the church is seeking to work collaboratively with the government and other agencies by sharing experiences and resources, and looking at ways to enhance facilities and encourage good practice,” the EAB said. “Workshops bring together key players to examine issues such as reproductive health, the reduction of maternal and infant mortality, and the prevention of transmission of HIV from mother to child.”

Across the country the challenges faced by the health sector are “immense,” it added, noting “destroyed or poor infrastructures, inadequate financial and material resources, and few well trained and experienced personnel.” The “drain of good doctors and other practitioners to other parts of the world leaves the country depleted in terms of adequate health provision,” the EAB said. “There is a need for the expertise and compassion of Christian doctors and nurses.”




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