BUJUMBURA, April 26 (Xinhua) -- Malaria was responsible for 30.5 percent deaths of children aged below five years in 2015 in Burundi, a ministry of health official said Monday in Bujumbura.
According to Dr. Dionis Nizigiyimana, the director for anti-malaria program in Burundi's health ministry, about 23.4 percent of adult deaths in Burundi during the same period were equally caused by malaria.
He was speaking on the sidelines of a forum to mark the World Malaria Day which is always marked on April 25 of each year.
"Even though malaria remains the number one cause for deaths as well as absenteeism in school and work in Burundi, there is no fear of considering the current situation as an epidemic," he affirmed.
He said the government had identified high potential areas for malaria, especially in the eight provinces within the high plateau regions, thus placing 56 percent of the population at risk.
Nizigiyimana recalled that in 2014, Burundi launched a mass campaign to distribute treated mosquito nets. The campaign which covered 98.8 percent of the targeted communities, was aimed at preventing a malaria epidemic.
The World Malaria Day, he pointed out, was established in 2007 in Switzerland during the 60th global assembly of the World Health Organization, to reduce the impact of this disease which continues to cause "over a million avoidable deaths" each year.