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In Gatumba, an advanced health care post for the sake of the Internally Displaced People

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Two years after the floods that hit Burundi, in Gatumba, the site of the IDP is still very fragile, especially in this rainy season but Life goes on, despite the difficulties

By Fatoumata Tandiang

At Kinyinya II's health care centre, Francine, Sonia and Pascaline are waiting their turn to see the doctor.

It's morning and there is already some crowding. "We receive an average of 50, 60 and 80 people a day and among them there are many children," explains Angeline Iradukunda, Head of Care Services at the Kinyinya II site.

The site was set up in September 2020 under the coordination of the Ministry of Health, with the support of UNICEF through the Sida funds and Doctors Without Borders.

Indeed, thanks to the Swedish fund, UNICEF has rehabilitated the advanced health care post and provided some supplies, including essential medicines, materials and health equipment through IEHK* kits. “Everything here in advanced health care post has been done with the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with MSF, UNICEF. UNICEF has also supported the training and relocation of staff here in Kinyinya II," said Dr Jean-Paul Ndayishimiye, Isaré District Chief medical officer. Sobel's advanced healthcare provider also received the same assistances.

Sonia, 20, and her daughter Blancheline, 3, came to consult. Blancheline is doing well. They have been living in the IDP camp for two years now. "I have personally benefited a lot from the establishment of this health post, because I often fall ill. When I come here, they welcome me and take care of me" she said."

For Francine, 28, a hairdresser and her 12-year-old son, it's a whole other story. Francine has only been living in the camp for a few months (July 2021). At the beginning of the floods, she was lucky enough to be hosted for a long time by a family. As conditions improve, Francine can return home, except that in 2021, a second flood hits her home. There, she loses everything and now lives in the displacement camp. In the camp, she continued her activity as a hairdresser for a few Burundian francs. "Today it is my son who is sick, and every time I come here, the nurses check him and give him medicine. This is a great relief for me,".

As for Pascaline, 54, she went back and forth to IDP camp. Indeed, she lived in the IDP camps for a while, before returning home. Unfortunately, her house will not survive the second wave of flooding. So she returned to live in the displacement camp. She lost her husband 5 years ago, and now lives alone. This morning, she came to see the nurse. "Before the floods, I lived in my house and ran a small vegetable business. After the floods, I could no longer afford to continue my activities and today I live in the camp".

The health care poste is regularly supplied with essential medicines against malaria, parasitosis, gastroenteritis, acute respiratory infections, etc. by the health district of Isaré thanks to the support of UNICEF and other partners. "For the malaria, the ministry has made available the supplies, we really have everything we need. This is the disease for which the patients consult the most and it kills a lot, "says Dr. Jean-Paul Ndayishimiye.

For complicated cases or serious illnesses, patients are referred to hospitals for better care.

At the Kinyinya II health post in Gatumba, it is already the end of the visits and the staff is satisfied to have been able to serve all the patients who came today, because tomorrow is another day....

To support the response to the Gatumba floods, the fund has enabled the management of 18,415 cases of illness in 2021, including 5243 children under 5.

*IEHK=Interagency Emergency Health Kits