PAHO Foundation Calls for Resources and Mobilatization for New Zika Virus Campaign

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–With Zika virus spreading “explosively in the Americas,” PAHO Foundation
has begun to mobilize its efforts for a new Zika virus campaign, adding
to its history of addressing neglected tropical diseases like
dengue and chikungunya in the Americas in collaboration with the Pan
American Health Organization (PAHO).

PAHO is the specialized health agency of the Inter-American System and
serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health
Organization (WHO). Together with WHO, PAHO is a member of the United
Nations system.

Dr. Jennie Ward-Robinson, CEO & President of PAHO Foundation, said,
“Investments are urgently needed to support additional research,
prevention, and surveillance. We also need to engage immediately in mass
communication efforts so as to ensure that women and families in areas
with limited resources are ensured access to an equitable level of
prevention and care.”

On February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the
Zika virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
because of its ability to be spread internationally and its potential to
require a coordinated global response. In addition, WHO also cited the
virus’ connection with microcephaly, a fetal brain disorder, and the
lack of vaccines, reliable diagnostic tests and immunities in infected
countries, as justification for classifying the Zika virus as a public
health emergency.

Last week, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) released the strongest
evidence linking microcephaly to the Zika virus found in two babies from
Brazil. The vector-borne virus has also been associated with a rare
nerve disorder called Guillian-Barre syndrome. More in-depth research
about Zika and its connection to these disorders are desperately needed.

Dr. Jennie Ward-Robinson added, “It is imperative that we do something
now not just for Zika but to end the scourge of all neglected tropical
diseases.” With Zika estimated to affect 4 million people globally by
this time next year and more cases of the virus being reported every day
in the Americas, PAHO Foundation sees an immense need to focus our
support on the people in our region being affected by this virus and
other tropical diseases.

About PAHO Foundation

PAHO
Foundation
is an independent 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization
that seeks to strengthen PAHO’s ability to improve and save lives in the
Americas, and to set an example for the rest of the world in public
health philanthropy. The Foundation fully supports PAHO’s mission of
promoting equity in health, combating disease and improving the health,
longevity and quality of life of all the peoples of the Americas. To
support PAHO Foundation’s efforts on the Zika virus campaign please
donate here: http://www.pahofoundation.org/support/donate-online.

Contacts

PAHO Foundation
Areana Quiñones, 202-974-3416
aquinones@PAHOFoundation.org