IFRC


IFRC and Save the Children unite to address the Zika Virus Outbreak

Published: 18 July 2016 21:53 CET

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Save the Children International signed a cooperation agreement that will benefit more than 2 million people affected and at risk of acquiring the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.

This agreement places special emphasis on pregnant women who are of childbearing age and their families in countries such as Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic where community awareness raising, information and support will be developed and activities focused on the prevention and control of the spread of the virus.

According to PAHO/WHO, between 2015 and 2016 there has been a registry of over 50,000 cases of Zika in the region* making this virus an epidemiological emergency which currently affects 40 countries/territories in Latin America and the Caribbean.**

Confirmation of the relationship between Zika and Microcephaly, the Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) and other neurological manifestations, represent a danger for pregnant women and their unborn children and both institutions, through this alliance, will work to provide support to this vulnerable group.

Walter Cotte, Regional Director for the Americas of the IFRC, believes that “these kinds of alliances are needed to deepen the impact of action at the community level, and to optimize the limited resources available to attend to this emergency that is having a huge impact on the most vulnerable families in the region. This agreement will expand the coverage and improve the quality of our response, to ensure greater resilience in communities, systems and institutions”.

Meanwhile, Beat Rohr - Regional Director of Save the Children for Latin America and the Caribbean, adds that “through the joint work between the two organizations we aim to reach a greater number of people at risk of contracting the Zika virus. In addition, we will focus on community work and in partnership with the affected communities who are the real agents of change.”

As part of this alliance communication and education materials aimed at families, including children and teenagers will be developed and widely disseminated. 

For more information

* http://ais.paho.org/phip/viz/ed_zika_cases.asp

** http://www.paho.org/hq/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=11599&Itemid=41691&lang=es

 




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The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world's largest humanitarian organization, with 190 member National Societies. As part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, our work is guided by seven fundamental principles; humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality. About this site & copyright