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Background: Malaria is associated with high morbidity and mortality especially in World’s tropical regions. In 2016, an estimated 216 million and 445,000 cases of malaria and deaths associated with malaria respectively were reported globally. Malaria is the first leading cause of outpatient visits, hospitalization and death in Burundi. We therefore examined the trend in malaria cases and deaths in Burundi.
Methods: We extracted data from Burundi National Health Information System (BNHIS) and assessed trends in malaria cases and deaths from January 2015 to December 2017. A suspected case of malaria was defined as any person treated by anti-malarial drugs without testing while a confirmed case as any person with a positive microscopy or rapid diagnostic test for malaria parasite. We described malaria cases and deaths, and calculated malaria case incidence rate.
Results: A total of22,225,699 malaria cases with 8,660 deaths (CFR 0.04%) was documented during the study period. Out of 22,225,699 cases, 45,291 cases (0.2%) were suspected malaria cases. The observed peak season of malaria infection in any of the studied year was in the raining season (March-June). All provinces of the country were affected. Kirundo and Cankuzo provinces the incidence of malaria cases increased from 10.1 cases per 1,000 persons in 2015 to 13.2 cases per 1,000 persons in 2017. The case fatality rate decreased from 0.06% in 2015 to 0.01% in 2017.
Conclusions: An increasing trend in malaria prevalence was observed in Burundi but Kirundo and Cankuzo provinces were the most affected. However, the case fatality decreased within the studied period. Malaria intervention should be intensified/scaled up in the raining season and the most affected provinces.