UN requires 56 million dollars to counter Zika outbreak

It will take 56 million dollars to fight the Zika virus, a disease that has been linked to a series of infant malformations in the Americas, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday.

The UN health body said the money was needed to implement its response plan for the outbreak, which includes both tracking Zika and birth defects in affected countries, as well as fighting mosquitoes that transmit the virus.

In addition, a large share of the money would be used for informing communities about risks and helping pregnant women get access to health care.

The money would be shared out between UN agencies, non-governmental organizations and laboratories.

WHO's Strategic Response Framework also includes funding of research into the unknown link between the normally harmless Zika fever and rising numbers of children born with unusually small heads and brains.

Research and development of diagnostic tools, of a vaccine and of medicines against Zika is to be funded as well.

Zika has appeared in about 40 countries, mainly in Latin American and Pacific island countries.

Last update: Wed, 17/02/2016 - 13:41

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