Divulgação, Notícias

Network joins researchers and civil society to formulate policies against Zika

The initiatives proposal is to ease the formulation and implementation of actions and policies to face the problem in Brazil


Around 10 thousand microcephaly cases have been reported and there is a wide spectrum of congenital abnormalities caused by the infection

The Zika outbreak no longer creates the same mobilization as short ago. Even the World Health Organizations (WHO) Emergency Committee has declared, in November, it does not consider the virus or microcephaly an international health emergency. However, regardless of the theme being or not in evidence, a group composed by experts, managers and representatives of the civil society is well focused combating the virus. It is the National Network of Zika Experts and Correlate Diseases (RENEZIKA). The initiatives proposal, formalized in May 2015, is to enhance the formulation and implementation of actions and policies to face the problem in Brazil.

This will be particularly important during this new phase of the epidemic, despite not having the same media coverage as before. But is its worth remembering that around 10 thousand microcephaly cases have been reported and today we know the spectrum of congenital abnormalities caused by the disease is much wider, explains the General Coordinator of Health Technology Evaluation at the Health Ministry, Doctor Tazio Vanni, member of the RENEZIKA. At all, seven workgroups were formed to discuss themes as international partnerships and attention to women and children within the virus context for the next 12 months. This last debate is in fact, fundamental, since women are the most affected by the Zika outbreak.

According to the Health Ministry (MS), from January to early August, this year, around 197 thousand probable cases of Zika fever were reported in the Country, spread across over 2200 cities. Women are 67.3% of all these cases. The association between infected pregnant women and births with neurological changes, as microcephaly, reinforces the need to implement control measures in the Country to minimize the risk of transmission, especially among women, according to the Board.

For this reason, the work is focused in combatting the virus and prioritizes the female population. According to Dr. Tazio, there is an integrated guideline with three new elements. The first is that now, babies whose mothers were infected by the virus during pregnancy will be supervised until they are three years-old. Besides this, other malformations caused by the virus will be investigated, not only the head measurements. The third recommendation is that a second prenatal ultrasound is performed to identify neurological changes during pregnancy.

Even though Zika and microcephaly are no longer popular as a few months earlier, it is important to be alert. Summer is coming and, with it, an increase in the Aedes aegypti populations, the virus transmitter.…