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Health Clinics Saving Lives in Burundi

A doctor examines a blood sample at the health clinic in Bitare, Burundi. Photo: Zaida Bastos

February 1, 2012

By Simon Chambers

Supported by a PWRDF/CIDA-funded health sector program between 2008-2011, the Anglican Diocese of Bujumbura, a PWRDF partner, built health clinics in the communities of Bitare and Rumonge, Burundi.  The clinics, equipped for diagnosis and treatment of common illnesses such as malaria and diarrhea, also have delivery rooms, treatment rooms, a laboratory, a pharmacy, and eight beds for overnight care.  The Bitare clinic opened in 2009, and the Rumonge clinic opened a year later.

The clinics are providing service to an area with tens of thousands of Burundians who had to walk for hours to reach the nearest medical help before the clinics opened.  Since the clinics opened, their staffs of trained nurses and lab and pharmacy technicians have treated 18,147 patients, of whom 11,258 were children.  The staff at the clinics are paid by the Burundian Ministry of Health.

The Ministry was also involved in training 660 community health educators who have been active in teaching Burundians about maternal and child health, sexual and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, and nutrition.  The increased education level has led to an increased use of health services in the area.

The cooperation between the Diocese of Bujumbura and the Burundian government, including the ongoing commitment from the Ministry of Health to staff the clinics, is ensuring that health care will continue to be available to improve the lives of tens of thousands of people in Bitare and Rumonge in the years to come.

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