The Health Resources and Services Administration announces the availability of $39 million for health centers in Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands to expand the availability of preventive and primary healthcare services to meet immediate and anticipated Zika-related healthcare needs and enable health centers to expand services in response to other urgent and emergent primary healthcare needs.
Zika virus infection during pregnancy is a cause of microcephaly and other severe brain defects. Zika virus infection during pregnancy has also been linked to pregnancy loss and other adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes. As of October 26, 2016, more than 32,000 laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from the U.S. states (4,091 cases) and territories (28,723 cases).
“As Zika transmission continues, additional resources are necessary to expand health centers’ response to current and evolving Zika-related needs,” said HRSA Acting Administrator Jim Macrae. “These supplemental Zika funds will enable health centers to provide additional high-quality services to underserved populations.”
This $39 million in funding will specifically be made available for use over a three-year period to eligible Health Center Program-funded health centers in these territories.
Nearly 1,400 health centers operating over 9,800 sites provide care to more than 24 million people across this nation, in every U.S. state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Pacific Basin. Today, health centers employ nearly 190,000 people.
For more information on the U.S. efforts to combat the Zika virus, visit https://www.cdc.gov/zika/.