Monday, August 8, 2016

Congress Urged to Combat Zika Virus

U.S. Health Crisis Looming: Malteser International Americas Urges Congress to Reconvene to Combat Zika Virus
Put life-saving work before recess
In a second letter sent to Congressional leaders and the Florida delegation today, Miami-based humanitarian organization Malteser International Americas has called on the U.S. Congress to cut short its summer recess to pass Zika virus prevention and treatment funding without further delay.
"We teach our children to eat their vegetables before they can have dessert. We tell them to finish their homework before meeting up with friends or playing on their smartphones. The protocol for Congress should be no different," said Ravi Tripptrap, Executive Director of Malteser International Americas. "The golf course isn't going anywhere, but the Zika virus is on the move in the United States, first in Florida and now in Illinois. Congress must return to work now."
Malteser International Americas has been on the front lines of the Zika outbreak in northern Colombia since it first became a threat to pregnant women and children, providing Zika Prevention Kits and educating those in the poorest, most forgotten regions where new cases of the mosquito-born disease are diagnosed on a daily basis.
Since the World Health Organization declared the Zika outbreak a global health emergency in February, Congress has taken a backseat, "Not In My Back Yard" approach. With non-travel related cases confirmed in Miami earlier this week and the announcement on Thursday of 46 cases confirmed in Illinois, 8 of whom are pregnant women, it is imperative that Congress act NOW. Zika is being carried into their backyard by mosquitoes, and their most important responsibility is to protect the health and safety of United States citizens.

In the meantime, people living in potentially affected areas shout consider investing in good mosquito repellent.

Text of Malteser International Americas' letter to Congress follows:
To learn more about Malteser International Americas work on the Zika virus, visit:
Malteser International Americas is a global humanitarian organization with a mission of supporting the vulnerable and marginalized so that they may live a healthy life with dignity. Through our recently established U.S. headquarters, Malteser International Americas provides immediate disaster response and preparedness as well as vital healthcare and nutrition to vulnerable people in North America, Latin America and the Caribbean. For more information, visit:

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