Since 2015, the Western Hemisphere has faced the largest-ever outbreak of the Zika virus, a vector-borne disease mostly spread by the Aedes egypti mosquito. This outbreak has been linked to severe birth defects such as microcephaly as well as other dangerous side effects.

Bringing years of expertise in vector control, behavior change communication and community mobilization, MCDI is at the forefront of the Zika response in Guatemala and El Salvador.

Zika Community Response in Guatemala and El Salvador (ZICORE)

MCDI's USAID-funded ZICORE project works in partnership with the Ministry of Health of Guatemala and the Ministry of Health of El Salvador, in-country USAID partners, the Guatemala and El Salvador Red Cross Societies and community-based organizations to reach at-risk populations. The core beneficiaries of ZICORE are pregnant women, women of reproductive age and the community at large. The project targets municipalities based on their vector density, population density and poverty incidence.

Vector Control

ZICORE's community-based vector control intervention consists of vector surveillance through pupae demographic surveys and the use of adult vector traps in selected communities.

The project will rely on community cleaning campaigns for the reduction of mosquito breeding sites through mobilization of community groups. Through SBCC interventions, ZICORE will support the Ministries of Health and other USAID partners in their implementation of larviciding activities.

Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC)

The Project's SBCC interventions are oriented to support behavior change on Zika prevention and management at the community level following the socio-ecological model. MCDI is working with in-country partners to help develop national BCC strategies for Zika for Guatemala and El Salvador.

The messages of ZICORE's SBCC strategy include personal and household protection measures, vector control activities, promotion of prompt care seeking and referral, and information on the associated risks of the Zika virus.

Community-Based Surveillance and Referral

To detect suspected Zika cases and refer patients for further testing and case management, ZICORE supports existing community surveillance programs implemented by the Red Cross Societies of Guatemala and El Salvador that are most effective and mobilizes communities to detect and refer cases to healthcare providers.