The first cases of autochthonous Zika transmission in Nicaragua were reported January 27, 2016. As of Epidemiological Week (EW) 1 of 2017, a total of 2,055 confirmed Zika cases had been reported in Nicaragua according to the Pan American Health Organization’s (PAHO) Zika Epidemiological Report for Nicaragua. No information is available on the distribution of cases by epidemiological week. As of the same week, a total of 1,117 pregnant women had been confirmed for Zika virus infection in Nicaragua. The Nicaraguan government has mounted a rapid response to the spread of the Zika virus based on guidelines from the World Health Organization. Activities include going door to door to fumigate homes to kill the mosquitoes that transmit Zika, educating the population about how to prevent mosquito breeding grounds, and providing care and follow-up for anyone with a fever to track cases.

Despite the decline in suspected cases, a trend seen throughout the LAC region, the virus still remains a threat and the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health (MINSA) is leading a coordinated response to the epidemic in collaboration with several international and local partners. ZAP Nicaragua will partner with MINSA and will collaborate with other implementers, including PAHO, Save the Children (STC), the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC), the Sustainable Sciences Institute (SSI) and UNICEF to respond to the epidemic.

This work plan details project resources and activities that the ZAP Nicaragua program will implement during the period of July 1, 2017 through June 31, 2018.

Key ZAP Nicaragua Objectives in 2017

In 2017, ZAP Nicaragua will implement entomological surveillance as well as vector control (VC) activities in five departments with high reported and suspected Zika incidence, namely Nueva Segovia, Masaya, Chontales, Matagalpa, parts of RACS and three identified neighborhoods within Managua. These departments were chosen based on MINSA’s epidemiological data. In RACS, ZAP shall implement in Bluefields and Kukra Hill municipalities. In Managua, ZAP shall implement in three neighborhoods namely Edgard Lang District III, Villa Venezuela District VII and Roberto Herrera District I.

ZAP Nicaragua will support the Government of Nicaragua (GoN) with establishing best practices in managing Zika-related environmental health risks, safe inventory and warehouse management, and applying recommended and evidence-based technologies, such as larvicides, to control transmission. With the GoN and other partners, ZAP Nicaragua will work to strengthen insecticide resistance (IR) management policies and establish a comprehensive domain of bionomic data on Aedes vectors to ensure data-driven decisions in any forthcoming arbovirus control efforts. ZAP Nicaragua will work at national, departmental, and local levels (if applicable) in collaboration with various partners, including PAHO, STC, IFRC, and the Sustainable Sciences Institute and UNICEF, to achieve the following key project objectives:

  • Implementation of high quality VC management to protect vulnerable populations from Zika virus transmission, closely coordinating household education and environmental clean-up measures with any other implementing partners working in ZAP Nicaragua intervention departments.
  • Establishment of entomological surveillance best practices in selected areas including vector bionomic studies, routine monitoring, data reporting, and IR testing for immatures and adult Aedes aegypti
  • Enhancing capacity and skills of the MINSA, at the national and SILAIS level, and other counterparts in VC and entomology to establish in-country resources to program and implement activities for the reduction of Zika and other arbovirus transmission, closely coordinating with PAHO to include national, regional, and local training in VC and entomology (surveillance and taxonomy), sub-national and community-level skill building, and procurement of supplies and equipment.