Burundi’s government says malaria kills over 700 this year

March 13, 2017

BUJUMBURA, Burundi (AP) — Burundi’s government says malaria has killed more than 700 people across the country so far this year.

The Ministry of Health told reporters Monday that the country is facing a malaria epidemic.

Health Minister Dr. Josiane Nijimbere said the death toll is “worrying” as pregnant women and children under age 5 are the most vulnerable.

Nijimbere said regions in the country’s north and northeast are the most affected and that $31 million is needed to stem the epidemic.

Out of a population of 11 million, over 8 million were sickened by malaria in 2016, according to government figures.

Burundi, which has been wracked by political violence since 2015, also faces food shortages that have left many at risk of starvation.