ZAP Leadership Conference

The Zika AIRS Project (ZAP) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) held a Leadership Conference in San Salvador, El Salvador, from November 15-18, 2017. The conference brought together specialists on Zika prevention and control based in the United States, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic.

ZAP started operations in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Region on September 2016 as a response to the Zika outbreaks that spread through the Western Hemisphere during 2015 and 2016. Country teams from the seven main focus countries had the opportunity to meet and share best practices, common challenges, lessons learned, and plan project activities for 2018 based on ZAP experiences during the first year of implementation.

Among the 60 participants there were Entomologists, Environmental Compliance Officers, Technical Program Managers, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialists and Chiefs of Party who implement and monitor activities in coordination with the Ministry of Health from each country. The conference also served as a platform for country teams to share innovations. For instance, Guatemala shared their experience using a top-notch application to collect data. This application allowed the team to collect data and upload it immediately to a shared platform where experts could evaluate the progress of the campaign, locate which areas that had been covered, and make informed decisions.

In 2018, ZAP will continue to focus on reducing the burden of Zika transmission by eliminating breeding sources, conducting Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) and/or larviciding interventions, collecting and analyzing data, and working with Ministries of Health to enhance their capacity to design, implement, and monitor Zika prevention programs.