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.

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...

Initiatives for the Prevention and Control of Zika Virus are awarded in Peru

USAID Peru, DIRESA Piura, and ASSIST Peru Project officials accompanied by representatives of the awarded C.S. Catacaos team Perú, May 31st, 2019 .- The USAID ASSIST Zika Perú Project, the Regional Directive of Salud Piura, I-4 Catacoas...

ISQua Webinar- 'Learning about Improvement' Community of Practice – Lessons learned by the USAID ASSIST Project from implementing research and evaluation studies


Outline of Session:

Conducting research and evaluation for quality improvement initiatives presents particular challenges as interventions tend to involve multiple actors, implementation activities diverse, and contexts dynamic. This webinar explored lessons learned by the USAID ASSIST project from implementing research and evaluation studies.  

Care and Support for Mothers, Infants, and Families Affected by Zika: Sharing Lessons Learned and Recommendations for the Future

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project organized USAID’s regional meeting: Care and Support for Infants, Mothers, and Families Affected by Zika: Sharing lessons learned and recommendations for the future held April 24th to the 26th in Panama City, Panama.

Antigua Gender Analysis Highlights

This short report is a gender analysis to identify key gender-related barriers and gaps that influence newborn and well-baby care systems in the context of Zika in Antigua.

Dominica Gender Analysis Highlights

This short report is a gender analysis to identify key gender-related barriers and gaps that influence newborn and well-baby care systems in the context of Zika in Dominica.

Shushufindi General Hospital at the Forefront of Quality Zika Care in Sucumbios, Ecuador

Team members of the three collaboratives executed with the assistance of the ASSIST- Zika Project working on the continuous improvement of quality Zika health care at Shushufindi General Hospital. “ASSIST’s technical assistance has enabled...

The Manta Health Center is Working as a Team to Offer Quality Zika Pre-natal Care

“Zika is a viral disease that can also be transmitted via sexual contact, with pregnant women being at risk of contracting the disease from their partners during their entire pregnancy. The Pre-natal Care Council, composed of health...