At a press conference with Health Minister Marcelo Castro at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), in Rio de Janeiro, WHO director-General Margaret Chan said Brazil's data will help other countries address the virus. Courtesy of PAHO
Directors of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) have praised Brazil's research and actions on Zika virus and its possible consequences.
PAHO director Carissa Etienne says, "Brazil has been fully transparent with the information. We know because we are on the ground working with the different components of the response, and they have full access to the data."
"What is important is that you confronted this, you responded quickly and you are working to find the answers and the solutions," she adds. "The protocols that you develop here constitute best practices that are very important for the rest of the world."
In their visit to Fiocruz, the WHO and PAHO officials were briefed on new technologies to combat the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, as well as diagnosis, prevention and treatment for diseases transmitted by the vector.
Visit to Biomanguinhos/Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro. Courtesy of PAHO
Earlier, Chan, Etienne and the PAHO/WHO Representative in Brazil, Joaquín Molina, also visited the National Center for Risk and Disaster Management (Cenad) for discussions with top cabinet members, including the ministers of health, national integration, defense, foreign affairs, social development and fight against hunger alleviation, as well as the secretary of government and the executive secretary of the Ministry of Education.
As part of their assessment of actions taken by Brazil in response to Zika virus infection and its possible consequences, Chan and Etienne went to Recife, Pernambuco, to visit the Institute of Integrative Medicine Professor Fernando Figueira (IMIP), a clinical research center that is the National Referral Center for Mother and Child Care Programs. WHO Executive Director for Outbreaks and Health Emergencies Bruce Aylward accompanied them, and they spoke with health professionals and mothers of children with microcephaly.
PAHO has developed a strategy to help countries mitigate the impact of Zika virus, through strengthening their capabilities to detect the introduction and spread of the virus, reducing mosquito populations, ensuring the necessary health services, and communicating effectively with the public about risks and prevention measures.