On August 24th, the Nicaraguan Red Cross distributed cleaning kits in two schools and communities in the Somoto municipality. The activity was held within the framework of the Community Action on Zika (CAZ) project, implemented together with the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Save the Children and thanks to the generous support by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

This process is part of the efforts to reduce Zika transmission and minimise risks associated with microcephaly and other neurological disorders in the most vulnerable populations through community prevention strategies.

Each kit comes with a wheelbarrow, a shovel, a pickaxe, two rakes, five brooks, two garbage bins, gloves, plastic bags, chlorine, cleaning products and liquid soap. The kits are used during cleaning campaigns to eliminate Aedes aegypti and alobpictus breeding sites, the main types of mosquito that transmit Zika, dengue and chikungunya. Each school and the Family, Community and Life Offices organize teams who then lead the cleaning campaigns.

In addition, this process has included a number of workshops and trainings on control and sanitation actions for Zika prevention in order to promote positive behavioural changes at school and community levels.

Mauricio Lorente, Coordinator at the Somoto Municipality Community and Life Office thanked the Nicaraguan Red Cross and their partners. He also congratulated the each sector’s offices and school teams for getting involved and being part of the community prevention network, underlining the key role of community actions for risk reduction.

Marlon Rizo Muñoz, CAZ Project Coordinator, noted that these activities are focused on creating further community resilience, motivating leaders, students and members of the community to take on a leading role in antiepidemic activities implemented by the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education.