Burundi’s history of ethnic tension and violent conflict has crippled its economy and infrastructure. Mortality rates in the small Eastern African nation are alarming – well above what’s associated with an emergency situation. Thousands of Burunians died in mass slaughters in 1972 and 1993, thousands more die each year from infectious disease, and hundreds of thousands of Burundians live in a chronic state of instability without access to basic health care.
PSI began working in Burundi in 1990 – until political instability and civil war resulted in funding cuts and 1996 staff evacuation. However, its local affiliate (Population, Santé et Information) stayed on to continue raising HIV/AIDS awareness, promoting HIV prevention behaviors, and social marketing condoms. When staff returned in 2002, PSI/Burundi added malaria and diarrhea prevention to its platform.
PSI/Burundi uses mass communication and peer education to help improve access to condoms for all people. However, it uses specific strategies to target high-risk groups, including:
- Young people, ages 15 to 24: PSI/Burundi’s behavior change communication (BCC) interventions go beyond promoting consistent condom use, abstinence and mutual fidelity. BCC strategies also discourage relationships between older men and younger women (“cross-generational sex”) and encourage delayed sexual debuts. Since launching activities in Burundi, PSI has distributed about 20.5 million “Prudence®” condoms. “Prudence Class®,” a new brand of condoms, was launched in 2009.
- Military personnel: PSI/Burundi opened a voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) center within the Ministry of National Defense Headquarters in 2007 and added a mobile center in 2009. The center – called “Akabanga®”, which means confidentiality – staffs well-trained counselors and lab technicians who provide high-quality services to soldiers and their families. Together, both VCT venues have tested more than 2,500 clients.
Each year, about 2 million of Burundi’s 7 million people fall sick from malaria. Young children and pregnant women are especially vulnerable. Malaria is responsible for 50% of all deaths among children under 5 and more than half of deaths among pregnant women. PSI/Burundi helps empower parents to keep their families safe by using impregnated insecticide mosquito bednets. Since 2003, PSI has distributed more than 666,000 mosquito nets in Burundi.
PSI/Burundi succeeds by collaborating closely with the Ministry of Health to distribute free bed nets along with routine immunization services at public health centers. PSI/Burundi also socially markets low-cost bednets.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
PSI/Burundi is fighting diarrheal diseases – which afflict most children under age 5 – on several fronts, including:
- Social marketing of oral rehydration salts (0RS) to treat diarrhea-related dehydration under the Orasel® brand. More than 1.1 million Orasel® sachets have been distributed since 2004.
- Social marketing the Sûr’Eau® brand home-use water guard product – a solution of stabilized hypochloridrite sodium.
- A hygiene and sanitation project to prevent cholera in six endemic provinces. PSI/Burundi’s behavior change communications strategies help raise awareness and distribute Sûr’Eau® and ORS.
- Conseil National de Lutte contre le Sida
- National Aids Coordinating body
- Programme National de Santé de la Reproduction
- Reproductive Health National Program
- Programme National Intégré de Lutte contre le Paludisme
- Malaria National Program
- 2012 Mid Year Region and Country Dashboards, East Africa
Mid-year East Africa region and country impact dashboards for 2012
- Protecting Families from Malaria in Burundi
- Evaluation of a Social Marketing Intervention Promoting Oral Rehydration Salts in Burundi
In 2004, PSI/Burundi launched a social marketing intervention to promote ORASEL among caregivers of children under five; the product was relaunched in 2006 with a new flavor. This study evaluates the mass media and interpersonal communication activities of the relaunch and looks at trends in ORASEL use in Burundi and in behavioral determinants that may be related to its use.
- 2011 Region and Country Dashboards, Eastern Africa
Eastern Africa region and country impact dashboards for 2011
- Evidence-Based HIV Prevention Campaign Increases Condom Use Among Youth in Burundi
Burundi has a national HIV prevalence of 4%. Among youth aged 15-24, HIV prevalence is 2.9% in rural areas and 3.8% in urban areas. Between 2006-2009, PSI/Burundi implemented a sexual behaviour change program for youth aged 15-24. This program aimed to: (1) Increase correct and consistent use of condoms during high-risk sexual acts; (2) Increase the perception of risk of infection during all unprotected sexual acts, regardless of partner type; (3) Promote abstinence and partner reduction; and, (4) Increase availability and affordability of condoms. Activities included targeted integrated behaviour change communications (iBCC) (radio, television, billboards, mobile videos, and peer education). This study evaluated the effect of the program on condom use with non-marital partners.