World Bank approves additional US$54.6m financing to strengthen Burundi’s health system

BURUNDI – The World Bank has approved an additional financing of US$54.6 million for the Health System Support Project (KIRA), in Burundi.

Like the parent project, this additional financing from the International Development Association (IDA) aims to increase the use of quality Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child and Adolescent Health services.

In the event of an eligible crisis or emergency, a contingent response component will allow for immediate and effective support to the government.

“This new financing will continue to strengthen the various health system pillars in Burundi for the well-being of communities, particularly the most vulnerable people”, said Jean Christophe Carret, World Bank Country Director for Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola.

The parent project significantly improved the use of essential health services, particularly for pregnant women and children under five.

The average number of curative consultations for children under 5 in health facilities increased from 1.6 per inhabitant in 2010 to 2.5 in 2020; the proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel increased from 60% in 2010 to 85% in 2017 (Demographic and Health Surveys – DHS 2010 and 2017) while the rate of fully immunized children increased from 83% in 2010 to 85% in 2017.

“This new financing will continue to strengthen the various health system pillars in Burundi for the well-being of communities, particularly the most vulnerable people”

Christophe Carret – WB Country Director for Burundi, DRC and Angola

This additional financing will continue to support the implementation of the national free health care policy for pregnant women and children under 5 through performance-based financing (PBF), support community health workers who provide a package of community-based health services, and improve the quality of training at paramedical and nursing schools.

In the context of the COVID-19 crisis, KIRA project will help improve the capacity of health services to detect this pandemic by strengthening laboratory networks in the country.

The project will also ensure the continuity of targeted activities of the regional Gender-Based Violence project in the provinces of Cibitoke, Makamba and Muyinga.

The Additional Financing for the KIRA Project includes a grant of US$4.6 million from GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization).

According to Global Health Report by USAID, Burundi’s health system suffers from a lack of adequate infrastructure and human resources to meet urgent community health needs.

In 2004, there were an estimated 5 doctors, 28 nurses and 1 pharmacist per 100,000 people.

Total health care expenditures were estimated at 3.7% of GDP.

Burundi had the lowest consumption of antibiotics of any country in the world in 2015 with a rate of 4.4 defined daily doses per 1,000 inhabitants per day.

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