MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The outbreak of the Zika virus has demonstrated that women’s needs and health protection should be a priority on both global and national levels, President of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim said Tuesday.
"The Zika outbreak has given the world a stark reminder that women’s needs and health must be a priority in global and national prevention and response efforts," Kim stressed.
"As we celebrate International Women’s Day around the globe, we need to give special attention to gender gaps in health. They remain unacceptably large, especially for women in developing countries who, for example, account for 99 percent of global maternal deaths," Kim stressed.
Zika is spread by the Aedes mosquito, which is common in tropical areas of the Americas. The virus is suspected of having strong links to microcephaly, severe brain damage among newborns characterized by abnormally small heads and underdeveloped brains.
Currently, there are no Zika vaccines, but about 15 companies are said to be working on them, according to the World Health Organization.