By Margaret Cohen
Less than a year after Zika was declared a global health emergency, the mosquito- and sexually-transmitted virus is present in more than 30 countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean. With no vaccine or treatment in sight, prevention remains essential to halting the spread of the disease. Through awareness campaigns, provider training and commodity distribution, PSI is mobilizing communities to protect themselves from infection. With support from USAID and corporate partners, PSI is folding these strategies into its existing health programs in Honduras, Haiti, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Panama and Guatemala:
- Launching a regional communication campaign about the most effective ways of preventing Zika.
- Distributing starter safe pregnancy kits containing bug spray, condoms and Zika prevention educational materials developed in coordination with local ministries of health.
- Counseling women of reproductive age about their short- and long-term contraception options to delay pregnancy.
- Providing accurate information about post-abortion care and the prevention of unsafe abortions.
- Developing prevention workbooks and other tools for community health providers, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists and lab workers.
- Training private clinics to educate and counsel patients, refer Zika cases for diagnosis and provide follow-up support.
With just a click, you can honor a mother you admire and help protect a woman from the Zika virus. Dedicate a Healthy Mother Kit today: zika.psi.org.
This article is part of an ongoing conversation about #MakingMarketsWork in Impact Magazine No. 22 “Are We Thinking Big Enough” issue. Join in the conversation with @PSIImpact.
Photo credit: Sophia Greenbaum