Managua, Nicaragua. On April 25-27, technical specialists from the Americas Zika Response Team at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and a representative from the Save the Children regional office visited the Nicaraguan Red Cross headquarters and branches to work with the with local teams on planning, evaluation and implementation of Zika prevention actions.

The main objective of this visit was to ensure coordination with local actors, including partners and donor on the ground, local Red Cross branches and volunteers, as well as participating communities. During the visit, the IFRC and Nicaraguan Red Cross teams held meetings to discuss the baseline evaluation for the Community Action on Zika (CAZ) project, the monitoring and evaluation plans and brainstormed possible pilot activities to implement in participating communities. The team also visited the Masaya Red Cross branch, where they met with volunteers and local coordinators about the project.

Over the coming months, the Nicaraguan Red Cross and project partners will implement a series of activities for Zika prevention and awareness. This includes training workshops for local staff and volunteers, awareness and clean up campaigns in communities and the development of community-based surveillance committees for vector control.

“We believe that this project is extremely important for our communities. First, because there is a certain lack of knowledge about Zika and a confusion between the different viruses, like dengue and chikungunya. At the same time, the project allows us to reinforce our auxiliary role with the Ministry of Health, which leads to a joint effort for positive behavioural changes, so that the communities can take ownership in eliminating breeding sites.” – said Virginia Madrigal Iglesias, Planning and Projects Director, Nicaraguan Red Cross.

The goal of the CAZ project is to reduce Zika transmission and minimize the risk of Zika-related microcephaly and other neurological disorders in the most vulnerable populations. The 3-year initiative is focused on ensuring community participation in Zika response and will target over 1.4 million people in 8 departments in Nicaragua.

The visit is part of a series of deployments within the framework of the CAZ project. This activity has been possible thanks to the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development, and was carried out in partnership with Save the Children.

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Media contacts

In Nicaragua: 

Virginia Madrigal Iglesias, Planning and Project Director,
Nicaraguan Red Cross

In Panama:

Sergio Ferrero Febrel, Operation Manager
Zika Response in the Americas, IFRC

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