Gender Issues Influencing Zika Response in Guatemala
The USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project has worked globally since 2012 to improve the quality and outcomes of health care and other services by enabling host country providers and managers to apply quality improvement evidence. ASSIST seeks to build the capacity of host country service delivery organizations in USAID-assisted countries to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, client-centeredness, safety, accessibility, and equity of the health and family
services they provide.
As part of USAID’s emergency response to Zika, ASSIST has been implementing health systems strengthening efforts in Latin America and the Caribbean since 2016. ASSIST works to improve the capacity of Zika-related health services to deliver consistent, evidence-based, respectful, high-quality care with a focus on pregnant women, newborns, and girls and women of reproductive age. ASSIST achieves this by supporting Ministries of Health and Social Security Institutions in the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Paraguay, and Peru, and to:
- Increase health care provider and client knowledge about Zika risks and prevention measures, such as condom use to prevent sexual transmission during pregnancy;
- Improve clinical screening for signs and symptoms of Zika infections during pregnancy an implementation of recommended care;
- Improve clinical screening for microcephaly and other manifestations of congenital Zika syndrome in newborns and increase the number and proportion of affected infants receiving recommended care; and
- Strengthen the provision of high-quality psycho-emotional support services for women and families affected by Zika.