Brazil has been facing a public health crises since 2015, when the Zika virus caused thousands of babies in Northeastern Brazil to be born with microcephaly. The World Health Organization called Zika a Public Health Emergency in 2016. Recently, the concern for the virus has disappeared, but it remains a threat. The next outbreak can occur at any time and there is no vaccine or medicine for Zika at the present time.
The Zika virus is spread mostly by the bite of infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Brazilian obstretician and researcher, Adriana Melo, was the first to make the connection between the Zika virus and microcephaly, a condition which causes infants to have misshaped heads and profound neurological abnormalities. Children can have a range of developmental delays and specialists predict some children will need intensive services throughout their lives.
Doctors are investigating if newborns with Zika-related microcephaly experience reduction in brain size after birth. This research is fundamental to understanding the long-term effects of congenital Zika syndrome. All research data is shared with renowned universities across Brazil, including: UNICAMP, USP, Universidade Federal da Paraiba, Universidade Federal de Campina Grande and IMIP/PE (Instituto Integral Professor Feranando Figueira).
Fraternity Without Borders partnered with Professor Joaquim Amorim Neto Research Institute (IPESQ), founded by Dr. Adriana Melo and a group of doctors in Campina Grande, Paraiba, Brazil, to develop customized treatment plans for children with microcephaly. The partnership gives children from low-income families the opportunity to receive proper treatment with a team of physiotherapists, psychologists and medical doctors.
Through your generous donations, Fraternity Without Borders provides customized treatment plans, including:
These services can be the difference between nearly normal child development and severe disability. Many Brazilian families affected by Zika feel forgotten as they struggle to make ends meet and get their children the best care.
Become a sponsor to give these children the support they need!