Source: East African Business Week
The government last week organised the Mother-Child Health campaign, Second Edition, 2014.
The ceremonies took place in Rugombo Commune, Cibitoke Province in western Burundi and officiated by Dr. Ir. Gervais Rufyikiri, the Second Vice President.
Over several days young children (between six and 59 months) were given vitamin A supplements. There was also de-worming with albendazole for children from aged one to 14 years. For pregnant women in the second and third term of pregnancy, awareness of hand-washing with clean water and soap were emphasised, together with vaccination for the second dose of measles vaccine in children 18 to 23 months.
Dr. Ir. Gervais Rufyikiri said public health is a top priority. This is reflected in these free health care initiatives for children under five years and pregnant women.
He said in the context of improving the health of the mother and child, Burundi has implemented one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) aimed at reducing morbidity and the mortality of children and women in childbirth.
He highlighted some of the causes of the mortality of children, including diseases of dirty hands, malaria, malnutrition and no family planning.
Dr. Rufyikiri advised the people of Cibitoke and the whole country as a whole to follow the rules of hygiene and to develop kitchen gardens in order to find the various nutrients that can contribute to improving the health of children and mothers.
He thanked the partners involved in the health sector because their support has enabled the reduction of mortality of children and mothers. He asked them to continue, because the needs are still immense in terms of maternal and child health. Those progresses are namely the reduction of the deaths of under five year children from 142 in 2005 to 96 in 2010 for 1000 live births, and the deaths of mothers during childbirth reduced from 615 in 2005 to 500 in 2010 for 100,000 live births.
He thanked the people of Cibitoke for overwhelmingly registering as of voters, a sure way for the consolidation of democracy and peace. He invited them to demonstrate the same civic maturity in the next stages of the elections of 2015. He also urged them to tackle the development work, to fight against laziness and rumour and to peacefully cohabit especially in this election period.
The Second Vice-President finally invited parents to respond massively to the activities planned for the four days of the week mother-child health to improve the health of the Burundian population, basic household development and the country in general.
Burundi is recovering from several years of upheaval that affected basic health services.