Zika Prevention Campaign Launches in Puerto Rico
SAN JUAN – A new communications campaign aimed at empowering pregnant women on how to prevent Zika virus transmission has been launched. The campaign, part of an effort with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the CDC Foundation, the Puerto Rico Department of Health and other partners announced in May, also focuses on empowering the social networks surrounding pregnant women – including partners, families, neighbors and community members – to take action to #StopZika in their homes and communities.
The campaign, titled “This is How We Stop Zika,” provides steps for pregnant women and communities to follow to protect themselves from infection, mainly by taking actions to prevent mosquito bites and avoiding potential sexual transmission of the virus. Support for this campaign is being provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Walgreens and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Current funding will support this campaign through early September. However, as mosquito season is expected to continue into December, the CDC Foundation says it urgently needs $1.5 million in funding to continue what it considers to be a “vitally important campaign” in Puerto Rico.
“The fight against Zika is a complex one that requires many allies and strategies,” Health Secretary Ana Ríus Armendáriz said. “This campaign is an important element to support the current efforts to protect our next generation. We are deeply grateful for the collaboration.”
The congressionally established CDC Foundation, an independent, nonprofit organization that advances the CDC’s mission through philanthropy and public-private partnerships, said the following in a Monday statement:
The Zika virus outbreak poses very serious risks to pregnant women as Zika infection during pregnancy can cause microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects, and has been associated with pregnancy loss and other negative birth outcomes, including eye defects, hearing loss and impaired growth. The multimedia campaign will run through early September and includes television and radio interviews and public service announcements, national and regional newspaper ads, billboards throughout Puerto Rico, social media, web and mobile ads and banners, and the engagement of traditional and social media influencers across the island.
“The campaign’s vital prevention messages are reaching the right people at the right time. We can accomplish so much more when we work together to combat Zika,” said Dr. Judith Monroe, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation.
To help launch the campaign, The Home Depot hosted a Zika Action Day with the Puerto Rico Department of Health on June 30. This event included a health fair and Zika prevention educational workshops at their Caguas store. The event was attended by more than 800 community members.
Communities throughout Puerto Rico are being challenged to have their own Zika Action Day by organizing and promoting community clean-ups, hosting Zika education sessions and spreading facts about how to prevent the spread of Zika and why it’s important to do so. On the campaign’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/DetenelZika), community members are sharing how they plan to prevent Zika and why it’s important.
The CDC Foundation activated its U.S. Emergency Response Fund and Global Disaster Response Fund in February to further accelerate CDC’s Zika response. Individual or business contributions to the CDC Foundation’s Global Disaster Response Fund and U.S. Emergency Response Fund can be made on the CDC Foundation website (www.cdcfoundation.org/zika-response). To discuss giving opportunities or an in-kind donation, contact Laura Ángel at email@example.com.