MSF started working in Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi, in April 2015 when violence increased in the run-up to elections.
Between May and July, MSF supported health posts near where demonstrations took place, enabling 120 patients to access free care in public facilities. MSF also trained the medical staff at Prince Rwagasore hospital in Bujumbura in the treatment of trauma victims, and donated medicines and medical supplies.
MSF has been running a 43-bed trauma centre in Arche hospital in Kigobe, in the north of the city, since July. The centre has an emergency room, two operating theatres and an intensive care unit. Teams provide free medical care to victims of violence, and by the end of the year had treated 693 patients, 417 of whom required hospitalisation.
Due to the upsurge in violence, tens of thousands of Burundians fled over the border to neighbouring Tanzania.
Handing over the malaria project in Kirundo
In January 2015, the handover of the Kirundo malaria project to the Ministry of Health was finalised with the transfer of the Mukenke district programme. The project had focused on reducing severe malaria-related mortality, and as the use of injectable artesunate is now integrated into the country’s malaria treatment policy, MSF’s presence is no longer required. This treatment is shorter and more effective than quinine, and there are fewer side effects.
Obstetric fistula in Gitega
Five years after its launch, management of the Urumuri obstetric fistula centre was officially handed over to Gitega regional hospital in August 2015. Fistula is a frequent consequence of birth complications in Burundi, and causes not only pain but also urinary and even faecal incontinence. This in turn often leads to social exclusion and sometimes rejection by friends and family.
Since 2010, MSF has treated nearly 1,800 women for fistula at the Urumuri centre and the majority have made a full recovery.
No. staff in 2015: 118 | Expenditure: €3.9 million | Year MSF first worked in the country: 1992 | msf.org/burundi