Brazil’s Ministry of Health has published a three pronged approach to combating their recent epidemic of microcephalic births – tentatively linked to maternal Zika virus infection - after three weeks of increasingly bad epidemiological reports.
Zika, which was first reported in Brazil last May, has spread rapidly across their Northeastern states, and is now being reported in 9 other South & Central American countries.
A study out of Sao Paulo University last week (see Paper: Zika Adaptations To Humans Helped Spark Global Spread) suggests the virus has become more `fit’ for infecting humans, and that may be contributing to its sudden, rapid spread.
In addition to the suspected link to birth defects, Zika infection has increasingly been linked to a rise in neurological illness, including Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS) (see ECDC: Complications Potentially Linked To The Zika Virus Outbreaks In Brazil & French Polynesia).
While the ultimate size and scope of Brazil’s microcephalic epidemic (which may see manifest in other countries as well) is impossible to estimate, it is already obvious that this has become a terrible human tragedy for the people of Brazil with more than 1000 excess birth defects reported in the past month.
Registration Date: 07/12/2015 10:12:49 changed in the 12.7.2015 the 10:12:49
Measures will be put in place to contain new cases of microcephaly. Support will be offered to pregnant women and babies and intensified actions to combat the dengue mosquito
President Dilma Rousseff launches on Saturday (5), Recife (PE), the National Plan to Combat microcephaly. It is a great national mobilization involving different ministries and agencies of the federal government, in partnership with states and municipalities, to contain new cases of microcephaly related to Zika virus. The Plan is the result of creation of the Interministerial Strategic Emergency Group on Public Health National and International Importance (GEI-PHEIC), involving 19 agencies and entities.
With the increasing number of cases of microcephaly in the country, the Health Ministry said last month, Emergencies in Public Health of National Importance in the country. Until November 28, 2015, 1,248 children were born with suspicion of this serious problem, which harms the development of children. Since then, the federal government is mobilized to study and control the situation.
The plan is divided into three lines of action: Mobilization and Combat Mosquito; Meeting the people; and Technological Development, Education and Research. These emergency measures will be put in place to step up actions to combat the mosquito.
MOBILIZE NATIONAL - The fight against the Aedes aegypti mosquito is crucial to the control of microcephaly outbreak that is occurring in the country. For the implementation of the National Plan to Combat microcephaly, the National room will be installed Interagency Coordination, which will work at the National Center for Risk and Disaster Management (Cenad) in the Ministry of National Integration. Also state rooms will be installed, which will be attended by representatives of the Ministry of Health, Departments of Health, Education, Public Security (PM and Fire), Social Welfare, Civil Defense and Armed Forces.
To strengthen the guidance to the public about the fight against mosquitoes in homes, mobilization with community health workers will be held, to combat endemic agents, besides the participation of the population. For this vector control, the Federal Government to acquire and make available equipment to spray insecticides and larvicides and secure the purchase of inputs.
The military and civil defense will give logistical support for transport and distribution of insecticides and health professionals. The two agencies will also act on visits to homes for elimination and vector control, and prevention mobilizations as joint efforts.
The School Health Program will involve teachers, students and families in the fight against mosquitoes. Public and private universities and federal institutes will be encouraged to participate in vector prevention and elimination activities. There will also be mobilizing actions between professionals and users of the Social Assistance Reference Centers, the Food Security Network and Bolsa Família beneficiaries.
At the same time, it is planned the training of professionals in the areas of health, education, welfare, civil and military defense, and rehabilitation professionals and specialized in epidemiological response and family health teams. They will be enabled also health professionals from hospitals for newborn hearing screening and 27 laboratories State Central Public Health to conduct survey to identify the Zika virus.
The Ministry of Health has recently launched a national campaign to fight the mosquito Aedes aegypti, which draws attention to the importance of cleaning for elimination of dengue mosquito outbreaks. The campaign slogan "Saturday's spring cleaning. Do not give clearance for the dengue mosquito. " There will also be information campaign for pregnant women and women of childbearing age, website and mobile application with information about microcephaly and Zika virus.
ATTENDANCE - To ensure proper care for pregnant women and babies, the Ministry of Health is making available to all health professionals, the Protocol and Clinical Guidelines for the care of microcephaly. In addition, the Ministry of Health will expand the CT scans covering and supporting the creation of regional scheduling of examinations plants.
To treat babies with the malformation, it is planned the expansion of the Living plan of care without limit, which is geared to the disabled, with the deployment of 89 new rehabilitation centers in addition to the 125 existing ones.
Primary Care professionals and professionals Program More Doctors will also be involved in promotion, prevention and patient care. The Stork Network will strengthen the attention to pregnant women and children. Over 4 million Notebooks of Pregnant - with basic guidelines to prenatal care - and 37.5 million rapid pregnancy tests will be sent to health facilities.
NEW TECHNOLOGIES - The federal government will encourage the development of research for the development of technologies aimed at diagnosis of viruses and their correlations, as well as promoting research for the control of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, with innovative techniques. Another area that will be studied is the microcephaly, other birth defects, and neurological syndromes, such as Guillain-Barré.
ACTIVITIES - The Ministry of Health has intensified the monitoring of the situation and disseminate guidelines for public and population, according to the results of the investigations. Ministry of Health teams are helping the states in investigations Moreover, the Ministry of Health maintains contact with state and municipal departments to coordinate a joint response and, in particular, to mobilize action against Aedes aegypti.Todos the ministries involved and the Armed forces are also already at work in Pernambuco, with 200 trained soldiers and another 800 in training. They are also ongoing strengthening and improvement of information systems consist of reporting systems, applications and newsletters.