Following the recent laboratory confirmation of a Zika case in Majuro, a state of health emergency was declared by Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine for 31 days.
Although there has only been one confirmed case, Marshall Islands is highly exposed to the virus as the Pacific region confirmed Zika viruse cases has increased rapidly.
Financial and human government resources will be called up by the disaster committee to support the national Zika virus response team for quarantine and sanit’sation efforts, while the Health Ministry focuses on surveillanc, patient management and public education/awareness.
Different sources of funding to support the action on Zika prevention have also been identified during the emergency declaration.
The declaration activates the Ministry of Health’s Epidemiology Network as “focal point” for action to provide direction, updates and advice to the National Disaster Committee.
Because the Zika virus can also be transmitted by blood contact, the hospital has banned blood transfusion for pregnant women as the confirmed Zika case in Majuro is a 25 year old in her early stages of pregnancy.