Reproductive Justice

19 de April, 2023

Zika in Alagoas: the urgency of rights (Zika em Alagoas: a urgência dos direitos), 2017.

The figures, narratives, and images presented in this document allow us to assure that, if there is any ongoing paradox concerning the epidemic in the Brazilian state of Alagoas, it is the silence about its effects on families’ lives — and women’s lives in particular. It is high time we put our concerns and public messages in order — eliminating the mosquito vector is certainly an urgent public health measure, but protecting the rights and needs of women and children affected by the pandemic is even more urgent. There is an ongoing humanitarian tragedy and the Brazilian Northeast is the epicenter of global distress. In 2017, we were preparing for a third wave of women affected during pregnancy by the Zika virus and little was done by the Brazilian government to place them at the center of protection measures in the epidemic. As an aggravating factor, the Ministry of Health declared the “end of the emergency” for the Zika virus epidemic in Brazil in May 2017. Falsely, it is believed that there was the “end of the epidemic”. This document is a call for women to be placed at the center of protection and care for the Zika epidemic in Alagoas. Along with their families, they are represented here by numbers and by five biographies — an attempt to illustrate the crowd and help those who read us follow it and remember it. We hope that the readers of this document, like us during the Maria Bonita Expedition, can understand the true meaning of a humanitarian tragedy and act to guarantee the rights violated by the effects of the epidemic.

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