Many Brazilian women to prevent pregnancy by Zika fears, study finds

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are seen at the Laboratory of Entomology and the Ecology of the Dengue Branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, San Juan

(Copyright Reuters 2016)

LONDON – Brazil must urgently an evaluation of the reproductive health policy, scientists said on Friday, for the support of the more than 50 percent of the potential mothers who say they want to prevent the pregnancy because of the fear about the Zika virus.

Publish the results of the study suggest many women are afraid of Zika, which can lead to serious birth defects in the children of women who are infected during pregnancy, the researchers said that Brazil must do more to ensure access to safe and effective contraceptives and to consider lifting the ban on abortion.

“The Brazilian government must be reproductive health in the middle of his response (Zika), including the review of its continued criminalization of abortion,” the health of experts, under the direction of Debora Diniz of Brasilia University, wrote in the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health care.

Zika, a viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes, has spread to more than 60 countries and regions, since the current outbreak was detected last year in Brazil, raising alarm about the possibility of the cause of the rare congenital anomaly microcephaly as well as other neurological disorders.

Brazil is the country that is hardest hit so far, with more than 2,200 reported cases of microcephaly, a condition characterized by an abnormally small head, which can lead to developmental problems.

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Diniz, the team of a national survey in June 2016, with the help of face-to-face questionnaires for the collection of data on reproductive health and pregnancy, and a secret ballot box in order to obtain information related to abortion experiences. Data were collected from 2,002 urban, literate Brazilian women in the age group of 18 to 39.

More than half of the respondents said that they were destroyed or attempted to prevent the pregnancy because of the Zika epidemic, the results showed, while only 27 percent said that they had not tried to prevent pregnancy due to Zika.

Another 16 percent said that they had not been planning pregnancy, regardless of the virus.

The study also found that a larger proportion of women in the northeast of Brazil (66 percent) than in the south (46 percent) were reported to prevent pregnancy. The researchers said this was probably due to the epidemic that is more concentrated in the northeast of Brazil.

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