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Zika education workshops held by Christian Aid partners in Brazil

Christian Aid partner MAB - Movement of People Affected by Dams - are working with families in Brazil to raise awareness and understanding of the Zika virus.

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MAB have been offering educational workshops to raise awareness amongst the population about the disease and the consequences of being bitten by the mosquito Aedes Aegypti.

This work is part of a project Protecting the people affected by dams from the Zika virus, supported by Christian Aid.

Meetings have been held with community leaders - who are mainly women - on issues relating to transmission, prevention and treatment of the disease in the states of Maranhão, Tocantins and Piauí.

Judite Rocha, a member of MAB's national co-ordination says, 'From the meetings the leaders will return to their home communities, passing on knowledge that they have acquired to others'. 

Judite reported that there were high levels of participation and the debate extended to the structural issues of public health in Brazil, with a particular focus on policies for the female peasant population.

'During the meetings, participants discussed not only the role of the population in the prevention of diseases such as those caused by Zika virus, but also the role of the Brazilian State, community healthcare agents, nursing technicians and representatives of the health departments of municipalities' she said.

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Healthcare agent Nayde Lima da Costa emphasised the importance of discussing the Zika virus:

'Our participation in the meeting is very important to deepen our understanding of this disease - which sometimes we do not give enough thought yet is so dangerous.

'We need to share with our community what we have learned here. We need to take care of our backyards, and inform the neighbors so they also take care and we all will be protected'.

For MAB, the struggle to get protection from disease and access to health care is connected to other factors including care of the environment, land tenure, guaranteeing the right to public and health policies, access to drinking water, work, housing, leisure and dignity through recognition of identity.

MAB supports other projects focusing on women's rights, resilience and energy alternatives.

Read more about our work in Brazil.


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