Pan American Health Organization Calls for Better Access To Contraceptives Amidst Zika Virus Scare
Zika-infected mosquitoes have become the most dangerous health problem today in Latin American. It has affected so many newborn children and expected to cause health issues to unborn infants.
In a desperate move by several regional governments in South America, they urge women not to get pregnant at these times to prevent being infected by an incurable disease that causes neurological birth deficiency.
According to Latino Fox News, this suggestion has earned criticism by the Pan American Health Organization, who said that the government should provide a long term solution. They are also calling for better access to contraceptives for women.
"We don't know how much longer it will last. What happens if in two years it's worse? That's not the solution. We've got to work to reduce the vector (the Aedes aegypti mosquito) and to ensure women have greater access to contraception," as stated by an expert.
The nations who joined the call for women to avoid getting pregnant include Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Jamaica, Honduras, Puerto Rico, El Salvador and Panama.
The organization believed that these governments' intention to put off pregnancies amongst women is not the solution for this problem. They call it "naive and insufficient." They also plan to protect the right of every woman to reproduce.
"You can't recommend that women not get pregnant. The countries need to inform people of the risks, but the final decision is the woman's alone. It's her right," said the director of Pan American Health Organization's Latin American Center for Perinatology, Women and Reproductive Health.
The organization is asking for an alternative solution that would eventually put an end to this crisis. There should be a clear understanding in all nations involved about sexual education, abortion and access to contraception. Most women in these countries have limited access to contraceptives, which makes it impossible not to get pregnant.
Meanwhile, abortion has been loudly discussed in the Latin American region. The United Nation appears to be in favor of the idea, calling abortion as a human right. However, it is illegal in most of the affected countries.
Several experts are worried that, because of the lack of knowledge and limiting women's rights to perform abortion, they may be force to go through unsafe procedures that would likely end up in a disaster. Nevertheless, most countries in this tropical region are poor and abortion clinics are the last thing you will ever find, according to a report by the Guardian.