In a follow-up on the malaria outbreak in the east African country of Burundi, 4,376,804 cases including 1,996 deaths (case fatality rate 0.05%) have been reported this year through the end of June.

Malaria life cycle/CDC
Malaria life cycle/CDC

It’s been increasing persistently despite ongoing response interventions.

During the most recent weekly data available (ending June 25), 173,355 clinical cases of malaria including 102 deaths were reported.

While the entire country is reporting a high burden of malaria, the northern, central and eastern regions are most affected. Ten out of 18 provinces in the country have attained the epidemic threshold, namely Karusi, Gitega, Muyinga, Kirundo, Kayanza, Ngozi, Bubanza, Cankuzo, Cibitoke, and Ruyigi. The 10 provinces represent 63% of the population at risk.

With an incidence rate of 51.9%, malaria has been the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Burundi.

Since 2014, the incidence of malaria in Burundi has been increasing. However, the epidemic threshold was reached in 2016.

In 2016, a total of 8,169,484 cases and 3,826 deaths (case fatality rate 0.05%) were registered.

The main factors influencing the evolution of the outbreak include recurrence of floods and favourable climatic conditions, insufficient human, financial, logistical resources, and suboptimal multisectoral collaboration at various levels, leading to an inadequate response to the outbreak. These factors are being compounded by the ongoing humanitarian crisis and food insecurity, causing severe acute malnutrition that increases the vulnerability of children.