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UNFPA alongside its beneficiaries to warn against Covid-19

On Friday April 10th, 2020, UNFPA organized dignity kits distribution to 350 vulnerable women and girls of reproductive age quarantined in Makombe site, in Rumonge Province (South of Burundi). The distribution was conducted in collaboration with Red Cross Burundi’ team. The dignity kits included sanitary pads, bucket, and 3 pieces of soap, loincloth, t-shirt, body lotion and solar lamp

An awareness-raising session against sexual and gender-based violence was also organized the same day by Red Cross. They indicated that the level of danger for these women and girls is high because some people can take advantage of this vulnerability to abuse girls and women in distress

Covid-19 prevention awareness

During the distribution of dignity kits and solar lamps organized by UNFPA in collaboration with the Burundi Red Cross, those families gathered in the Makombe transit site were as well sensitized about the Covid -19 prevention. Burundi Red Cross agents who carried out the awareness-raising insisted on the life-saving gestures such as washing their hands regularly and respecting social distancing, although very difficult in their living conditions. They insisted a lot about more prevention for people at risk on this site including pregnant women.

Apart this assistance given to the Makombe transit site, UNFPA, in collaboration with its partners, is investing alongside the Burundi Government in the fight against Covid - 19. Under UNFPA leadership, the Gender Based Violence working group members put in place, in light with global guidelines and HRP objectives, sector COVID-19 plan which provides the life-saving GBV interventions in order to keep ensuring critical GBV response services and make them available all the time.

Other actions planned by UNFPA during the Covid – 19 pandemic

During this critical period, UNFPA wishes to ensure that its beneficiaries in Burundi continue to receive correct information and continue to have access to all the services they need. UNFPA will implement its activities in the Interagency Strategic Response plan (SRP) to support the government Contingency plan. Among key activities will be the community mobilization against COVID-19 and SGBV; Engaging Midwives and Gynecologist/Obstetricians and other maternity frontline workers. Thus, in partnership with the Health Ministry through its National Reproductive Health Program (PNSR), UNFPA provides for the production and dissemination of messages on Family Planning, Maternal Health and Reproductive Sexual Health of adolescents and young people. Procurement and distribution of PPE to maternity frontline workers and Youth Friendly Health Service. Health Districts capacity building is also planned for the provision of essential reproductive health services by including the prevention module of COVID-19 while supporting the capacity building activities of the networks of community health workers for the provision of essential reproductive health services, including as well the COVID-19 prevention module. In addition, peer educators of sex workers will also be strengthened in capacity to provide essential HIV prevention services and the prevention module of COVID-19.

Note that Burundi confirmed these first two covid-19 cases on Tuesday March 31st, 2020. As of April 21st, 2020,   10 covid 19 cases have already been tested positive including 4 already cured, 1 death and 5 new cases.


By Queen Belle Monique Nyeniteka