Jesuit Missions supports Covid-19 efforts in Burundi
Where the Great Lakes meet the Rift Valley is Burundi, a small land-locked country bordering Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania.
Unlike the majority of countries, people in Burundi were not asked to quarantine following the onset of Covid-19 in the region. Although some cautionary measures were implemented, such as the promotion of hand washing and social distancing, there are many people who continued living their normal life. In fact, like in many developing countries, people who earn their living daily do not see Covid-19 as the biggest threat to their livelihoods.
During this time, Jesuit Missions UK has been working with Service Yezu Mwiza (SYM), a Jesuit health centre in the country’s largest city, Bujumbura which serves people living with HIV/AIDs.
With the support of Jesuit Missions, SYM has carried out a plethora of activities including sensitising those whose immune systems are already fragile, reinforcing a mobile clinic which has been crucial to serving those in rural areas, and providing medicine for more than 1000 people. Furthermore, it has provided food baskets for 450 families, and installed more than 60 hand-washing stations in the centre’s catchment area. So far there have been no Covid-19 cases reported among SYM’s beneficiaries and the centre’s Director Fr Vedaste affirms that this has only been possible thanks to the support of Jesuit Missions UK.
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