Amagara Yacu

Improving the quality of primary healthcare and epidemiological surveillance in Burundi


Access to diagnostics








In progress


The National health development plan 2019-2023 (PNDS III) underlines the fragility and inadequacy of existing healthcare provision, the lack of preparation for emergency situations, the shortfall and poor distribution of healthcare staff, the lack of infrastructure and equipment complying with standards and the fragility of medical supplies.

With a view to contributing towards the government’s efforts to improve the health system, the Burundi Red Cross and the French Red Cross, in partnership with Amref and the Mérieux Foundation, intend to work alongside the INSP (and the NRL) and the CNTS to implement a project called Amagara Yacu, thanks to funding from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD, French Development Agency) and the French Embassy.

The Mérieux Foundation’s involvement in the Amagara Yacu project was instigated to help improve the quality of primary healthcare and epidemiological surveillance in Burundi, while taking into account the gender inequalities that are hampering the right to health and access to healthcare.


The Mérieux Foundation is providing its expertise in particular to the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) run by the Institute of Public Health at the Ministry of Health in Burundi.

It is involved in four components:

  • Infrastructure: the renovation of the reception and testing area of the NRL, with a view to improving the patient experience.
  • Equipment: the purchase of laboratory equipment to allow continuity of testing in the event of a breakdown and to develop new types of testing.
  • Training: training sessions taking place on site and remotely will be introduced for laboratory technicians and maintenance teams at the INSP.
  • Quality control: an action plan for quality, biosafety and biosecurity will be set up to help improve procedures at the NRL.



  • Agence Française de Développement (AFD, French Development Agency)

Members of the consortium

  • Croix Rouge Française (French Red Cross, consortium lead)
  • Croix Rouge Burundaise (Burundi Red Cross, project coordination)
  • Amref Health Africa
  • Mérieux Foundation

Operational partners

  • The National Institute of Public Health (INSP)’s National Reference Laboratory within the Ministry of Health for the Mérieux Foundation
  • National Blood Transfusion Center for Amref