The existence of A.LU.MA Burundi Association (Action de Lutte Contre la Malaria) was born out of a fact that paludism is and remains the health issue n°1 in Burundi, and from the will that the member founders to the improvement of people’s heath ,particularly the most vulnerable , namely under age 5 children pregnant women elder people. Registered in January 2002, ALU MA Burundi has hence and worth while advocated for an orderly and permanent fight against paludism. But , any enterprise, it has not got the means to situation , the ambitions in spite of this situation, the members of the means to fulfill its ambitions in spite of this situation, the members of the Association lepton requesting the support of institution working in the sector of health and individuals. Good will people have come up and provided their support since April 2004; A.LU.MA-Burundi has opened a Centre, named Centre anti-malaria St François d’Assise. Although it has no enough infrastructures, the Centre taken care of 12,175 patients in 2004 and 31,757 patients in 2005.
It’s worth mentioning that the center was launched with in initial financial grant grants papal foundation. During the year 2005, A.LU.MA-Burundi has been allocated EUR 133,000 by the French High Commission in Burundi, and this fund was spent for the extension of the center.
Hence, the year 2006 was mainly characterized by the official launching of the Centre on June 16th, 2006. Ceremonies marking the day started with a thanks giving church service, with Gallagher, the Nuncio to Burundi, as the master of ceremony. All the partners were invited and several among them have reported.
The inauguration day was a pleasant opportunity for the chairman of the A.LU.MA-Burundi Association of express his heartfelt gratitude to all partners who accepted to assist the Association in the implementation of its objectives, and who contributed to the improvement of living conditions of people with poor income.
We would take therefore to reiterate our sincere thanks to:
- The German Organism Medeor Action which since 2002, has always supported the Association through various contributions in anti–paludic medicines and other important lab materials.
- The Papal Foundation whose first grant gave rise to the foundations of the current St François d’Assise anti-malaria Centre. Moreover, the Foundation has generously agreed to pay for the staff salaries, and from the beginning to-date – May the Nuncio to Burundi, His Excellency Bishop Paul Richard Gallagher who is our interlocutor at the Papal Foundation find herein our sincere and heartfelt thanks.
- His Eminence Cardinal Ersilio Tonini and his Foundation with its grant which came in support to the first grant from the Papal Foundation in the construction of the construction of the initial buildings of the Centre.
- The French High Commission to Burundi whose funding has contributed to the construction on 320 square kms and to buy equipment, sound proofing and communication material, as well as a computer equipment.
In addition to the buildings and the equipment, another part of the funding has been spent in the organization of workshops to sensitize administrative officers in the capital Bujumbura, on the urgent need to fight against paludism. The deliberations of those workshops helped to design a plan of action 2007-2010. The balance remaining
- The Global Fund to fight against Aids Tuberculosis and Paludism which funded activities of distribution of mosquito nets to under 5 years children in 13 districts of Bujumbura, a musical competition on the sensitization of the population on the urgent need to fight against Paludism, as well as training workshops for the staff members.
This funding was allocated through the Project “Support to the Paludism Control Initiative for Burundi” of the Ministry of Health. ALUMA-Burundi also for assistance from the Global Fund through the Ministry of Public Health, in the allocation of anti-malaria medicines, namely the Artésunate-Amodiaquine recognized by the national therapeutic protocol into force in Burundi since November 2003, as well as some laboratory material such as lancets.
- Friends of Herz Jezu de Mönchengladbach/Rheydt Parish in Germany.
- Friends of Bonn in Germany, especially the family Scholten and Crampen.
- The Peace-Development Commission of Gundelsheim St Nicola Parish in Bavière (Germany). This Commission has facilitated the shipment of a container of second hand goods. Most of these goods have been sold at affordable prices to low income people, among them are patients who are provided care at the Centre. The Executive Committee of the Association has decided to allocate the money from that sale to care taking of under 5 years children free of charge. Hence, children who were paying BIF 300 (Eur1 = BIF 1,300) get free medical care since December 1st, 2006until the amount is finished. We are particularly grateful to Frau Annemarie Keicher, President of the Commission, for her endeavors, starting from the collection of the goods until the shipment of the container.
- Aktion Mission und Leprahilfe Schiefbahn e.v. a German Organization whose funding helped to order medical products from Action Medeor.
- The High Commission of the German Federal Republic which provided the Centre with solar energy which enables the laboratory to work normally, notwithstanding the power shortage.
- ONUB/UNOB (United Nations Office in Burundi) whose funding enabled the Centre to avail a waiting room for patients, while it is also used for seminars and workshops for sensitization against malaria.
- Mr. Nunzio GUGLIELMINO, Vice-Governor of the Bank of Development of the European Council, for his grant in medicines
- Mr Jiwani Shafia, Manager of Import-Export Company, which supplies free of charge, the “Paracetamol 500 mg cés” product to A-LU-MA-Burundi, since November 2005.
- Media professionals who make regular reports about the Association activities.
- Anonymous people who support actions implemented by the Association through the allocation of Office Material (book registry, paper, pen, cartridges….)
Thanks to those various grants, the Centre succeed to operate normally, and save human beings’ Lives.
Nevertheless, there subsist challenges to address:
- In order to ensure a good functioning of the Centre, we will have to think of strategies to ensure the payment of salaries on a permanent basis, which is a headache. The life of the Centre will depend on that, since contributions from patients remain insufficient with regard to the needs of the Centre, and to only cover running costs. Income generating activities will have to be initiated and implemented.
- As malaria remains the first cause of mortality, particularly for under 5 years children, the Centre should be provided with an operational service for intensive care in an effort to keep them under supervision. The Centre is already provided with 10 beds.
- Regarding the staff, the Centre urgently needs to recruit a physician and a A1 Level laboratory Assistant to assure a technical supervision of all services provided at the Centre, which are costly.
- At the logistic level, the Centre deadly needs a means of transport, to ensure smooth procurement and transfers of serious cases towards hospital institutions.
In order to address those challenges, A.LU.MA-Burundi still relies on good will people. Once the working conditions at St François d’Assise anti-malaria Centre are improved, we will be able to provide good quality services and Save thousands of human beings, while availing obvious signs of malaria control, or its eradication. It is undoubtful that if we shall overcome.
May God bless all those good will actions, as well as St François d’Assise anti-malaria Centre, a sound symbol of an active international solidarity.