HRSA antes up $39 million to help combat Zika virus
The Health Resources and Services Administration is putting $39 million in the kitty to help health centers in Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands, expand preventive and primary healthcare services to meet immediate and anticipated Zika-related healthcare needs.
The funds are also intended to help health centers expand services in response to other urgent and emergent primary healthcare needs.
As of October 26, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tallied 32,000 laboratory-confirmed cases of the virus in the United States, with 4,091 cases, and in territories, where the number of cases tally is 28,723.
“As Zika transmission continues, additional resources are necessary to expand health centers’ response to current and evolving Zika-related needs,” HRSA Acting Administrator Jim Macrae said in a statement. “These supplemental Zika funds will enable health centers to provide additional high-quality services to underserved populations.”
The funding will specifically be made available for use over a three-year period to eligible Health Center Program-funded health centers in these territories.
Nearly 1,400 health centers operating more than 9,800 sites provide care to more than 24 million people across the country, in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Pacific Basin.
Zika virus infection during pregnancy is a cause of microcephaly and other severe brain defects. It has also been linked to pregnancy loss and other adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes.