World Bank announced $150 million to combat Zika Virus in Latin America and the Caribbean

Feb 19, 2016 12:40 IST

The World Bank Group on 18 February 2016 announced 150 million US dollars in funding to combat Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The funding is aimed at supporting the countries in the region that are projected to incur losses up to 3.5 billion US dollars or 0.06 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016 due to the spread of Zika virus.

The World Bank announced funding as it was observed that a group of countries highly dependent on tourism—notably in the Caribbean—could suffer losses in excess of 1 percent of GDP.

Earlier, on 1 February 2016, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Public Health Emergency of International Concern over Zika virus outbreak and urged international community to provide additional support to stem the impact of the virus.

What, Why & How of Zika Virus

Range of activities that will be undertaken with the funding are -

• Vector surveillance and control

• Identification of the people most at-risk, especially pregnant women and women of reproductive age

• Follow-up and care through pregnancy and postnatal care for neurological complications

• Promoting access to family planning

• Public awareness, self-protection measures, community mobilization

• Other activities that will ensure a robust, well-targeted, well-coordinated and multi-sectoral response

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