The management of severe malnutrition in Burundi: an NGO's perspective of the practical constraints to effective emergency and medium-term programmes

Disasters. 1999 Dec;23(4):343-9. doi: 10.1111/1467-7717.00123.


The NGO, Action contre la Faim (ACF), has been operating in Burundi since 1994, where the situation has dramatically hampered humanitarian programmes. These include poor security resulting in an inability to maintain 24-hour care for the severely malnourished and poor access to the beneficiaries, all within a politically and economically unstable context. However, ACF has been able to capitalise on lessons learnt and reflect on ways to move forward, which have included the improvement of their capacities in the treatment of severe malnutrition and the integration within broader disciplines and national structures. The protocols for the treatment of severe malnutrition currently used in Burundi have been developed as a result of the research of ACF over the past five years. Other aspects of the nutrition programme remain to be further developed. These include, for example, an improved capacity to care for severely malnourished adolescents and adults; and also a better knowledge of the beneficiaries to allow for stronger links between the provision of treatment and support for their longer-term food security.

MeSH terms

  • Altruism
  • Burundi
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Program Development
  • Relief Work* / organization & administration