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HEALTH-ZIKA/BRAZIL
RTX6FE2H
October 17, 2018
Nearly three years after a Zika outbreak in Brazil caused thousands of cases of microcephaly and other...
OLINDA, Brazil
The Wider Image: Mothers of babies afflicted by Zika fight poverty, despair
Nearly three years after a Zika outbreak in Brazil caused thousands of cases of microcephaly and other devastating birth defects in newborns, Reuters returned to check on the mothers and their children. Zika, the first mosquito-borne virus known to damage developing foetuses, has since disappeared from headlines, but world health officials fear its spread to new populations. In northeastern Brazil, we spoke with nearly 30 mothers who contracted the Zika virus during pregnancy. Most of them have been abandoned by their husbands and must care for their children alone. Many of the women have largely adjusted to the initial shock of their child's disability, trading dreams of their own careers for the reality of around-the-clock care of a child who may never walk or talk. Many struggle to get by on a monthly disability check of just over 954 reais (roughly $250), which must cover shelter, food, medications and transportation to frequent doctor visits. Many confessed to despair and depression, and some considered suicide. But they share a fierce love for their children and a hope for a better life. Four of them provided us a glimpse of their daily life in simple homes on the outskirts of Recife and Olinda, two cities in the state of Pernambuco. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino SEARCH "ZIKA" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY. Matching text: HEALTH-ZIKA/BRAZIL
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