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.

Tips for Design and Facilitation of Learning Sessions in the Context of Collaborative Improvement of Zika-related Services

This guide was prepared to support country teams of the USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project in designing and conducting effective learning sessions as part of quality improvement collaboratives for...

Cartillas sobre cómo brindar apoyo a las familias afectadas por Zika.

Estos folletos brindan información sobre cómo brindar apoyo a las familias afectadas por Zika. Describen lo que debe y no debe hacer al hablar con las familias, cómo hablar con las madres embarazadas y las madres de niños afectados por el...

Apoyo psicosocial para las embarazadas y las familias afectadas por el síndrome congénito asociado al Zika

Esta guía "Apoyo psicosocial para mujeres embarazadas y familias afectadas por el síndrome congénito asociado con ZIKA", se elaboró en el marco del Proyecto ASSIST-Zika con el fin de proporcionar pautas a los proveedores de salud donde se...

Active search of reproductive health clients to provide Zika counseling in Honduras

The case study describes the use of a screening tool for active search of women and men of reproductive age and their partners attending specialized external consultations and other services at Gabriela Alvarado General Hospital in the...

Marcos de apoyo psicoemocional en el contexto del Zika

APOYO PSICOSOCIAL: Consejeria en crisis en el contexto del Zika Este folleto psicosocial proporciona una guía para brindar apoyo a través de acciones y lenguaje corporal. Siguiendo el acrónimo "P.O.D.E.R." el folleto proporciona...