• In Bujumbura-Mairie province, UNICEF and partners advocacy contributed to the release of 76 children (63 boys, 13 girls) who benefited from psychosocial support. 24 of the children (17 boys, 7 girls) also received temporary emergency care.
• A new cholera outbreak started on 30 December 2016 in the Province of Cibitoke. To date, 169 cases have been reported, among which 105 are children (MoH, 30 January 2017). All patients were treated and released from the Cholera Treatment Center.
• UNICEF would like to thank the Government of Germany and the Spanish National Committee for their contributions to UNICEF’s health, nutrition and WASH emergency response, while noting that child protection, WASH and education remain largely unfunded in 2017.
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
The sociopolitical situation in Burundi remains tense and continues to spur on migration and humanitarian needs. Over the past 2 months, 40,965 people found refuge in neighboring countries (Tanzania, DRC, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia), reaching a total of 367,125 Burundi refugees in the region, the majority of whom continue to be children (54.6 per cent). The number of internally displaced people (IDPs) registered in eleven provinces has also increased to 141,221 (IOM, December 2016), of which 59 per cent are children.
A new cholera outbreak started on 30 December 2016 in the Province of Cibitoke (bordering the DRC) which progressed quickly and reached a total of 169 cases in a 3 week time period, in which 105 of the cases were children (MoH, 30 January 2017). To date, the cholera outbreak has been contained to 1 province out of the 18 affected and at risk provinces. More than half of the cholera cases were among children under 15 years of age, meaning further investigation will be done by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to assess the reasons for this unusual situation.
The sharp increase of malaria cases observed in 2016 (a total of 8 million cases in one year) continues in 2017. According to the MoH, the cumulative number of malaria cases reported during the first 3 weeks of 2017 is 691,842 with 288 deaths (MoH, 26 January 2017), which is higher than the same period in 2016 (545,216 cases and 253 deaths). As a result, a delegation from WHO AFRO was in Burundi for 10 days to complete a rapid assessment of the malaria situation and meet with all key stakeholders. A debriefing was held on 27 January 2017, at the MoH to discuss their preliminary results. Key issues discussed included i) 8 provinces are in an advanced epidemic situation; ii) Further analysis is on-going for the remaining provinces; iii) A request was made to the MoH to officially declare the emergency to support adequate fundraising. The proposed malaria draft response plan, pending the validation of the MoH, suggests mass treatment, MIILDA distribution and spraying in targeted places. UNICEF offered to assist the MoH with improved weekly monitoring with RapidPro technology, and a contribution to the mass treatment programme though the provision of essential drugs. The final WHO mission report will be shared shortly.