– BURUNDI –
LOCAL BRANCHES OF THE ANSS FOR BETTER ACCESS TO CARE AND TREATMENT
February 7th, 2014
Gitega, the second largest city in Burundi and focal point of the province of the same name, is a two-hour drive from the capital Bujumbura, in the very heart of the country. The quality of public clinics there is very low, and there is a chronic lack of personnel, medications and medical equipment. The cost of seeing a doctor and getting treatment is prohibitive for most patients living in this particularly poor rural region. The prevalence of HIV is higher in this province than the national average, with 4.6% of the population living with the virus. Aware of the importance of decentralizing medical services to render them more accessible to poor, isolated people, the Association Nationale de Soutien aux Séropositifs et aux Malades du Sida (ANSS), member of Coalition PLUS, set up one of its four branches in Gitega in 2005. Today, this regional centre plays an absolutely vital role in the lives of 2,000 women, children and men living with HIV/AIDS. They benefit from free medical care and social services, and more than 1,000 are receiving antiretroviral treatments thanks to the Association.