After a preliminary survey in the 12 existing centres for the care of the physically handicapped in Burundi, the Foundation has concentrated on its first efforts in the National Prosthetics and Rehabilitation Centre in Gitega, building an operating room. Then efforts turned to the Hospital of Bubanza, where a modern orthopaedics ward with a gymnasium and prosthetic workshop/laboratory is planned.
An ophthalmology ward with a laboratory for the production of eyeglasses is also planned.
In Burundi, a patient who needs hospitalization must not only pay for his stay, but also supply his own food, meaning that for every person admitted there is the need for expensive assistance by a family member. This creates serious economic problems for the indigent population. For this reason, a group of our supporters have organized a yearly donation of 200 euros, corresponding to the cost of one bed for 365 days.
We have also started the on-site cultivation of the plant artemisia annua, which has been proven to have anti-malarial therapeutic characteristics. We are analysing the composition and testing the properties in collaboration with the University of L’Aquila and are in charge of the free distribution within the region.
The Republic of Burundi (Central Africa) has an area of 27,000 square kilometres (just a bit bigger than the island of Sicily) and a population of over 7 million that is growing sharply. In Burundi the health problems are severe and many. In the field of orthopaedics the population faces congenital or acquired malformations. In the epidemiological field there is a high mortality rate for malaria, HIV, tubercolosis, malnutrition and in regard to eye care, vitamin deficiencies and hygiene.