UN launches Multi-Partner Trust Fund for Zika virus response

The Fund aims to provide a rapid, flexible and accountable platform to support a coordinated response from the UN system and partners.

Created On: May 9, 2016 10:00 ISTModified On: May 9, 2016 10:08 IST

Zika-VirusUnited Nations (UN) on 6 May 2016 announced the establishment of the UN Zika Response Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) to finance critical unfunded priorities in the response to the Zika outbreak.

The establishment of the fund was announced by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Objective of the Fund
• The Fund aims to provide a rapid, flexible and accountable platform to support a coordinated response from the UN system and partners.

• It will directly support the Zika Strategic Response Framework, developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in consultation with UN agencies, partners and international epidemiological experts.

Under the programme, the donors will contribute to a central point and an Advisory Committee will direct funds to the highest-priority activities in the affected countries.

Zika Virus

• Zika virus (ZIKV) is a member of the virus family Flaviviridae and the genus Flavivirus, transmitted by daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes, such as A. aegypti.

• In case of humans, the virus cases mild illness known as Zika fever (Zika or Zika disease).

• It has been occurring since the 1950s within a narrow equatorial belt from Africa to Asia.

ALSO READ: WHO declared Public Health Emergency of International Concern over Zika virus outbreak

• In 2014, the virus spread eastward across the Pacific Ocean to French Polynesia, then to Easter Island and in 2015 to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America, where the Zika outbreak has reached pandemic levels.

• Since January 2015, 61 countries and territories have reported local transmission of Zika.

• The recent rise in the spread of the virus in some countries has been accompanied by an unprecedented rise in the number of children being born with unusually small heads – identified as microcephaly.

• Several countries have also reported an increase in Guillain-Barré syndrome – a neurological disorder that can lead to paralysis and death.

• On 1 February 2016, WHO announced that the cluster of cases of microcephaly and other neurological disorders.

• There is now scientific consensus that the Zika virus is linked to severe fetal malformations and serious disorders of the central nervous system and is a cause of microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome.

• The Zika Strategic Response Framework aims to investigate and respond to the cluster of microcephaly and other neurological complications linked to Zika virus, increase preventive measures, communicate risks, and provide care and support to those affected.

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