Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live

News

news

Zika Alert: Colombia hands out 20,000 condoms to reduce pregnancies

Zika Alert: Colombia hands out 20,000 condoms to reduce pregnancies

Colombia has stepped up efforts to prevent further infection of the Zika virus which has been declared a global emergency by the World Health Organisation .

Statistics indicate 20,297 confirmed cases of the mosquito-transmitted virus in the country.

With this staggering figures in mind, health officials have been carrying out Zika prevention campaigns.

We're going to hand out 20,000 condoms because this is the time of the year when women become pregnant on the Caribbean coast, especially in Barranquilla because of the carnivals

In the coastal city of Soledad, officials have began handing out condoms and mosquito repellents ahead of its carnival season as the virus has been linked to a wave of birth defects in neighbouring country Brazil.

“We’re going to hand out 20,000 condoms because this is the time of the year when women become pregnant on the Caribbean coast, especially in Barranquilla because of the carnivals,” Soledad mayor Joao Herrera Iranzo said.

Currently, more than 2,100 pregnant women have been affected with the virus in the country.

Reports further indicate that women are the most affected in Colombia accounting for 63.6 per cent of the cases.

“I think this is excellent because, with Zika, we’re seeing lots of diseases. It’s something for all of us women who are pregnant, that they are giving us repellent to protect us from Zika,” Jessica Sandoval a Soledad resident said.

The WHO has warned that the virus could affect as many as 4 million people this year. Zika has already spread across 24 states.