“Already we are seeing progress” – The Lutheran malaria program in Burundi

Posted on July 16, 2015 by Jessica Nipp Hacker
Jessica Nipp Hacker

Evariste Kabura is a staff person with Lutheran World Federation (LWF)-Burundi; he coordinates the Lutheran malaria program in Burundi. In this interview, he tells us more about his work and about the impact that the malaria program is making in the lives of Burundian communities.

Evariste Kabura for web

(Photo: Evariste Kabura, Lutehran World Federation-Burundi)

My work includes support of project activities including sensitization [education] on malaria strategies, helping to make sure communities seek treatment, supporting treatment centers and advocacy: we train community leaders to work together with administration and government to seek for malaria assistance. I also work on the implementation of malaria prevention strategies and advocacy strategies.

The communities we work with are encouraged to claim their rights. LWF works with public health, government and communities to improve the health situations.  We are based in, and work directly with, communities.  This is important because the animators [trained volunteer leaders] are community members and they know the daily program of activities in their communities. They interact daily with their communities.  They know who is sick, and who is not.

This malaria program is very good for Burundi because most people are not yet aware of malaria and their resources. They don’t yet have a prevention strategy.  Some of them, when they are sick, don’t visit the health center.  And some of them die. If the program is able to teach and to train people to seek treatment, I’m sure that malaria morbidity and mortality rates will reduce.

Already we are seeing progress. In this province, I’ve seen the health center record that the number of people visiting for malaria treatment has gone down! Schools are coming to us to ask for malaria sensitization because their pupils keep getting sick.

LWF has realized that malaria cases are many in the affected communities. This hinders development work in these communities.  If we can reduce cases of malaria in communities, they are free to focus on their development.  I have seen many changes already.

When I see children and families who have recovered from malaria, I am very happy.  We shall make sure that many more children and pregnant women get the testing and treatment that they need, and make sure that drugs are taken properly. My hope for the future is to see our communities healthy, without malaria. And I hope they can continue their hard work and development.