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PPNYC will provide New Yorkers – particularly those traveling to and from Zika-affected countries – Zika-prevention kits and information on how to prevent Zika transmission

New York, NY—This summer, Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) has launched a new initiative to help combat Zika in New York City, where a quarter of all U.S. infants affected by Zika have been born. PPNYC staff will distribute Zika prevention kits and educate the public about how they can protect themselves from the virus, especially while traveling during summer months.

“August is a popular month for travel, so it’s important that we continue to educate New Yorkers about the risks of traveling to Zika-prone areas,” said Christina Chang, Planned Parenthood of New York City Vice President of Public Affairs. “With the launch of this new initiative, PPNYC will be able to provide New Yorkers, especially those who are pregnant or may want to get pregnant in the near future, the information they need to protect themselves and their loved ones from contracting Zika.”

PPNYC’s Promotores de Salud (PdS) community health education program, a trusted resource for Latinx seeking family planning services and information, will distribute information and Zika prevention kits to Spanish-speaking clients who make trips to regions that are at high-risk of Zika transmission, including Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, or who have partners who travel to those regions. These kits contain condoms, dental dams, OFF® insect repellent, and Mosquito Dunks®.

“Although many have heard of Zika, there are still significant gaps in knowledge—for example, lots of people don’t know that Zika can be sexually transmitted,” Chang said. “We’ve already received overwhelmingly positive responses from those who received information and Zika-prevention kits.”

The PdS will conduct outreach in the South Bronx/Washington Heights with the Project Street Beat Mobile Medical Unit program, within PPNYC’s five health centers, and in weekly education sessions at the Mexican Consulate, reaching hundreds of New Yorkers. The PdS have also trained train Mexican Consulate staff so that they can provide their clients with Zika-prevention information.

PPNYC’s Zika-prevention initiative bolsters other efforts to combat Zika among New Yorkers. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene launched a campaign this summer to protect New Yorkers from Zika, which included TV, subway, social media, and newspaper ads that ran in both English and Spanish.

PPNYC’s initiative and similar initiatives led by Planned Parenthood affiliates in South Florida and Texas are supported by Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA).

Support from partners and officials:

"Since 2007, PPNYC has partnered with the Mexican Consulate through our Ventanilla de Salud program. Every Friday, Planned Parenthood of New York City’s Promotores de Salud visit the Mexican Consulate to talk about the importance of sexual and reproductive health care. We are proud to now partner with PPNYC to educate our communities about Zika so that they can stay healthy,” said Karina Escamilla, Health Affairs Coordinator at the Consulate General of Mexico in New York

“While it’s not in the news as much as it used to be, Zika is still very real threat especially for friends and family who may be traveling to places like Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic, for example,” said Council Member Rafael Salamanca. “That’s why I’m proud to work with Planned Parenthood to help educate about Zika and help us all be a little safer.”

“Despite the noticeable decline in media coverage, we cannot overlook the health risk that the Zika virus poses to pregnant women and their unborn children. Through ongoing community outreach and education, New York City women will be better positioned to make informed choices about their future travel plans to protect themselves and their families against the Zika virus. I want to thank Planned Parenthood of New York City for their unwavering commitment to promoting maternal and infant health,” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo.

“Educating New Yorkers about how to prevent Zika, and distributing Zika prevention kits, are absolutely critical for the health of New Yorkers, especially mothers and babies,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal. “Efforts to curb the threat of Zika in New York City underscore the importance of maintaining funding levels for Planned Parenthood Federation of America. I applaud PPNYC, its Promotores de Salud program, and the Mexican Consulate for working to improve and safeguard the health of our community.”

 

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Since 1916, Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) has been an advocate for and provider of reproductive health services and education for New Yorkers. Serving more than 60,000 clients annually, PPNYC’s health care centers in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island offer reproductive health services, including gynecological care, contraception, pregnancy testing, abortion, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and HIV testing and counseling. Through a threefold mission of clinical services, education, and advocacy, PPNYC brings better health and more fulfilling lives to each new generation of New Yorkers. As a voice for reproductive freedom, PPNYC supports legislation and policies to ensure that all New Yorkers will have access to the full range of reproductive health care services and information.