Burundi’s government has disputed a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the scale of malaria in the country.

Earlier this week WHO said that malaria cases have reached epidemic proportions.

The report found more than five million cases of malaria since the start of this year and said more than 1,800 people had died of the disease.

Burundi Health Minister Thaddée Ndikumana told journalists the figures were lower—4.3 million recorded cases, with 1,400 deaths this year.

He said this compared favourably to figures in 2017, with 4.9 million cases and 4,300 deaths.

The disease, spread when female mosquitoes bite humans, kills almost half a million people worldwide each year.