The explosive spread of the Zika virus is causing great concern across Latin America and around the world. In nations like Colombia and Brazil, thousands of infections, including among pregnant women, have been recorded.
World Vision has experience all over the world, helping protect families from mosquito-borne viruses like malaria and dengue fever. We will be using our knowledge and expertise to help communities combat the spread of Zika.
The potential impact of Zika
The Zika virus is feared to cause microcephaly, a condition in which babies are born with abnormally small heads, as well as neurological disorders.
Those most likely to be impacted by the disease are impoverished mothers and families. Often, these parents do not have the resources to care for babies with mental and physical disability.
With the number of infections on the rise, there is potential for a devastating health and social crisis.
Protecting families from Zika
To avoid being bitten by mosquitos transmitting the Zika virus, authorities in the affected countries are recommending that families take multiple precautions. Some are similar to those you might recognize from camping trips during mosquito season.
- covering exposed skin, with long-sleeved clothing, pants and hats
- using mosquito repellent
- sleeping under mosquito nets at night
- helping prevent mosquito breeding by cleaning, emptying and turning over containers that may retain water, such as tires, buckets, or pots, both inside and outside the house
How World Vision will be helping
These measures are all straightforward – if you understand what to do, and have the supplies you need. With this in mind, World Vision will be working closely with local governments, ministries of health, and other agencies by:
- Helping communities and understand how Zika spreads, and how they can be safer
- Helping authorities track mosquito levels, to determine which are the hot spots for mosquitos
- Helping preposition supplies like mosquito nets and repellents so local authorities can access and distribute quickly where most needed
- Helping empower faith communities and youth volunteer networks to play a leading role in getting the word out about Zika protection strategies
You can help World Vision prevent devastating and long-lasting impact on mothers, children and men in places like Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Donate to support World Vision’s response to crises like this.
Updates on the Zika outbreak will be posted here as they become available.