Bioethics News

Why Zika Is Especially Hard On The Women Of Brazil

July 19, 2017

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It started with the task of keeping mosquitoes at bay — a task that often fell to the women and girls in a family. And it continues today with women shouldering much of the care for babies born with congenital Zika syndrome, which includes microcephaly, a birth defect characterized by a smaller than normal head and brain damage.

The government has not given women the support they need, says Margaret Wurth, a children’s rights researcher who worked on the study.

Wurth and her colleagues visited Brazil in 2016, a year after a state of emergency had been declared (it ended this May). They interviewed women (including mothers of children with microcephaly), men, officials from nongovernmental groups, medical service providers, researchers and others about their experiences related to Zika. They conducted interviews in Pernambuco and Paraíba, two states in northeastern Brazil particularly hard-hit by Zika.

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See Also: Pregnant Women and the Zika Virus Vaccine Research Agenda: Ethics Guidance on Priorities, Inclusion, and Evidence Generation

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The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.