Zika in Haiti: HEI/SBH's Response

You have probably heard a lot about the Zika virus in the news lately. The mosquito-borne virus is spreading across Brazil and other Central and South American countries, including Haiti. In Fond des Blancs we have clinically diagnosed Zika cases at SBH.

Though Zika causes mild-to-moderate symptoms in most patients, the real concern is for pregnant women: significant birth defects have been associated with the virus. While a definitive connection between Zika infections and microcephaly in newborns has yet to be found, the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization are recommending that pregnant women take extra precautions in affected countries. 

In response to this new public health emergency, HEI/SBH is mobilizing our clinicians and our network of community health workers to distribute DEET to expectant mothers, educate communities about the dangers of standing water as breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and treat patients suffering from the symptoms of Zika. 

HEI/SBH’s strong network of hospital, clinic, and community health workers is here to provide education and care in precisely these kinds of situations. But our team, already stretched thin by record numbers of patients coming to the hospital, needs more resources to fight this new public health battle.