Zika OutBreak: Zika Virus Update, 122 Million Dollars Needed For Global Response to Zika Virus According To World Health Organization

By Wayne Parker, Parent Herald June 19, 08:00 am
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Everday the Zika virus has been literally taking countless lives across the globe. During pregnancy, Zika virus infection can cause severe fetal brain defects. The Zika virus has also been linked to pregnancy loss and problems in infants, including hearing loss, impaired growth and eye defects.

According to a news report on CNBC, even though there is some funding from governments that is being redirected for the Zika outbreak response, a congressional compromise, however, on emergency funding to fight the Zika virus has yet to be reached. The current government support is apparently not enough to safeguard the US and other countries affected by the Zika outbreak.

On Friday, WHO said that the prevention and management of the medical complications of the Zika virus spreading across the US and causing birth defects in babies requires nearly $122 million as cited on Reuters.

As it sets out a revised joint strategy with PAHO (Pan American Health Organization) on handling the mosquito-borne virus, the UN health agency says that a specific focus is badly needed on supporting women and girls of child-bearing age.

Since cases of the birth defect microcephaly were reported in Brazil, Zika has terribly caused alarm throughout the Americas. Brazil is the country hardest hit by the Zika outbreak. Brazilian authorities have already confirmed over 1,400 cases of microcephaly in babies whose mothers were exposed to Zika during pregnancy.

U.S. health officials reported on Thursday that three babies there have already been born with birth defects caused by Zika virus infection along with three cases of lost pregnancies.

Margaret Chan, WHO director-general, said that much had already been studied about the Zika virus, how it easily spreads and its consequences of infection as well as the methods on how to control it following the initial response plans set out by the health authorities earlier this year. In February, the World Health Organization officially declared Zika outbreak a global public health emergency.

"The response now requires a unique and integrated strategy that places support for women and girls of child-bearing age at its core," Chan said. The plan accentuates a number of aspects of the Zika outbreak which includes a collaborative, global response.

Chan further said that coherent funding mechanisms are absolutely essential for the plan to be successfully implemented. She noted the number of donors who are engaged in the global response to the Zika outbreak had tremendously risen to sixty from twenty-three in February 2016.

Pan American Health Organization, World Health Organization and some other health agencies assert that $121.9 million is badly needed in order to efficiently implement the revised plan from now until December 2017.

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