In early February of 2016, 418 women with suspected Zika virus were seen at HAS. There was fear that the virus would spread during Haiti’s rainy season, making it critical to educate Haitians about the dangers of Zika during pregnancy and the benefits of using family planning methods as a protective measure.
HAS was fortunate to find a collaborator in Family Planning 2020 (FP2020), a global partnership that supports the rights of women and girls to decide, freely and for themselves, whether, when, and how many children they want to have. In cooperation with FP2020, Bloomberg Philanthropies pledged $50 million to reproductive health efforts and has since worked with the FP2020 Secretariat and the United Nations Foundation to establish a Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM), which provides assistance to local organizations in 69 countries to respond to emerging, unanticipated, time bound opportunities that help to enable 120 million additional women and girls to use contraceptives by 2020.
HAS received a generous grant through the RRM in October 2016 to accelerate the use of contraceptives, thereby mitigating the impact of the Zika virus and preventing birth defects in children during the peak of the epidemic (and reaching 7,170 women and girls and 1,317 men in the process!). More information about this partnership can be found here.