BURURI / CIBITOKE December 19th (ABP) – The Community Distribution Ivermectin Treatment (CDIT) project organized at the headquarters of Bururi province (south-west) on Monday, a workshop for mobilization and awareness-raising among administrative officials and health authorities on the goal of treating onchocerciasis disease annually with albertazole  at the level of 100% and 80% with mectizan. The project is operating in six provinces including Bubanza, Cibitoke, Rumonge, Bururi, Makamba and Rutana where that skin disease is very common.

Project coordinator Nathanael Ndimuruvugo said that onchocerciasis disease was initially treated on a community basis at the health centers, but currently, it is treated under community directive, that is to say that Nurses are trained to train in turn community health workers who distribute the drugs in the community. He also stated that the steps taken to eliminate the disease are centered on two methods, including the application of larvicides in streams and the mass distribution of ivermectin and albendazole to kill microfilariae for duration of 15 years.

Onchocerciasis treatment with Mectizan is given to anyone aged five and over, except pregnant or breastfeeding women, infants under 7 days of age, serious patients and people who have taken alcohol. Note that the CDIT project is taking place in Bururi province in Bururi, Songa and Vyanda communes bordering the Imbo region.

In Cibitoke province (north-west), a provincial mobilization for the 14th session of campaigns against onchocerciasis took place on Friday, December 14th at the provincial headquarters, with the aim of eradicating this disease whose fight comes to spend six years with good performance, with a rate higher than 80% each year, according to the coordinator of neglected tropical diseases program in the Cibitoke and Bubanza provinces, Mr. Déogratias Nimpa. He said that taking community-distributed mectizan means getting treatment for those who have the onchocerciasis virus and protecting themselves from the same scourge for those who do not have the virus yet. The current two-week community-based mectizan campaign against onchocerciasis and deworming with albendazole, starting on Tuesday, December 18th, is for all Cibitoke residents aged 15 and over, Mr. Nimpa said.

In order to eliminate the transmission of onchocerciasis infection until 2020, the target people for Cibitoke and Bubanza are 537,153 for mectizan and 350,856 for deworming against verminosis.

According to forecasts, mectizan will be distributed to 84,287 people from Buganda commune, 9,326 from Murwi, 94,228 people from Rugombo commune, 91,773 people from Bukinanyana, 80,050 from Mabayi and 95,529 people from Mugina. Albendazole is planned for 55,180 people from Buganda commune, 38,919 people from Murwi, 61,697 people from Rugombo, 60,089 people from Bukinanyana; 52,414 from Mabayi and 62,548 from Mugina commune. In this kind of campaign, some villages that do not perform well are identified in order to adopt strategies. These include Rukana 1 and 2 in Rugombo commune and Buziransazi and Buhayira in Murwi commune.

Note that onchocerciasis occurs in six provinces of Burundi, including Bubanza, Cibitoke, Bujumbura, Rumonge, Makamba and Rutana. It is a serious illness that can lead to total blindness if it is not treated in time. It also worth noting that even if mectizan is given free of charge in Burundi, only one tablet costs $ 1.5 in the US and arrives in Burundi with a value of nearly $ 10, according to Mr. Nimpa.

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