The recent emergence and rapid spread of the Zika virus presents a grave, new challenge for health systems and practitioners across the Zika-affected regions, as they work to address the unique health needs and concerns of individuals and families affected by the epidemic.

Zika is spread primarily through the Aedes mosquito – the same species of mosquito that spreads dengue and chikungunya – but the virus can also be transmitted via sexual contact. Common symptoms of Zika for an otherwise healthy adult include mild fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache, lasting up to a week.However, most concerning for health workers is that Zika is passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus during pregnancy.

While the symptoms for an adult are mild, Zika infection during pregnancy can have grave consequences for the growing fetus. Zika infection during pregnancy has been linked to an increase in birth defects across the Zika-affected regions, particularly a serious birth defect called microcephaly, which results in unusually small heads and brain damage in newborns.

As part of USAID’s Zika response, ASSIST has been implementing health systems strengthening efforts in Latin America and the Caribbean to provide targeted support to health systems affected by the Zika virus. ASSIST is working 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 women of reproductive age.

To learn more about our work improving care in Zika, read this overview and explore our Zika resources and publications below.

In addition to the resources provided here, ASSIST maintains a website in Spanish with exclusively Zika-related content: www.maternoinfantil.org/zika.

Tamizaje para microcefalia en el Hospital Vinicio Calventi de Santo Domingo, Republica Dominicana

El estudio de caso describe el inicio, desarrollo, avances, retos y lecciones aprendidas del Equipo de Mejora Continua de la Calidad de Tamizaje Neonatal para Microcefalia en el contexto Zika del Hospital Regional Dr. Vinicio Calventi del...

Incorporación de la consejería sobre zika en el consultorio integral del hombre del hospital meterno infantil de Loma Pyta, Paraguay

El Hospital Materno Infantil de Loma Pyta ubicado en las afueras de Asunción en el barrio del mismo nombre, atiende ininterrumpidamente las 24 horas para asistir a las familias en todos los ciclos de la vida.En abril de 2018 el hospital...

USAID ASSIST Project Paraguay Final Video

This video highlights the accomplishments of the USAID ASSIST Project in Paraguay.

Los asuntos de género que influyen en la respuesta frente al Zika en la República Dominicana

Para examinar la integración de género en la respuesta al Zika en la República Dominicana, el socio especializado en asuntos de género, WI-HER, LLC, llevó a cabo un análisis rápido de género en abril del 2018. En la República Dominicana,...

Gender Issues Influencing Zika Response in the Dominican Republic

To examine gender integration in the Zika response in the Dominican Republic, ASSIST partner WI-HER, LLC conducted a rapid gender assessment in April 2018. In the Dominican Republic, while there is a study of the impact of the Zika virus...