Plan International is on the ground in Latin America and the Caribbean, working with local organizations, partners, schools, and communities to help quell the spread of the Zika virus. Currently the virus has affected more than 20 countries in the region and is linked to hundreds of cases of Microcephaly – a disease that causes infants to be born with unusually small heads, which can often lead to developmental challenges.
Plan has programs in 12 of the countries affected and is responding with a strategy focused on:
- Risk communication and social mobilization
- Mosquito control and elimination
- Personal protection measures and support for the most vulnerable
- Sexual and reproductive rights and health
“The Zika virus outbreak poses a clear and real danger,” said Dr. Unni Krishnan, Plan International’s Head of Disaster Preparedness and Response. “The fight against Zika outbreak is a race against time. Urgent coordinated efforts are necessary to stop this outbreak from reaching epidemic proportions. The fact that an unusual number of newborn babies have been diagnosed with smaller-than-usual heads has further amplified public fear and concern.”