Washington, DC—This week, The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) will recognize and participate in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Zika Provider Action Week. ACOG is proud to stand among peer organizations and government agencies in the fight to prevent and respond to the Zika virus and support the care and treatment of all people affected by the virus.
Healthcare providers are often patients’ first and best resource during public health crises. ACOG, the nation’s leading organization of women’s health physicians, prioritizes preparing ob-gyns to comprehensively address the Zika virus with patients. To support ob-gyns, ACOG regularly develops, updates, and issues guidance on risk, prevention, assessment, treatment, and outcomes of Zika virus. This includes a regularly updated Practice Advisory, as well as information to direct ob-gyns to critical resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), like the US Zika Pregnancy Registry.
In addition to educational outreach, ACOG financially supports active efforts that assist providers, organizations, and research institutions to combat the Zika virus. In July, ACOG National and ACOG’s District IV (Puerto Rico) came together to make a donation of $107,500 to the CDC Foundation. This donation supports resource requirements in Puerto Rico, where they are facing unprecedented clinical demands and a need for accelerated data and research to support treatment of growing numbers of individuals with Zika – a number expected to increase over the summer months.
“At ACOG we are eager to support any solution that will diminish or extinguish the devastating effects of Zika in the United States and abroad,” said Dr. Christopher Zahn, Vice President of Practice activities for ACOG. “Support must include not only educational materials, but also financial support to ensure our understanding of the disease is progressing and being applied for a long term solution.”
During Zika Provider Action Week and beyond, ACOG is encouraging ob-gyns to reach out to their Members of Congress, many of whom are back in their home districts for summer recess, by emailing them or attending a town hall to impress upon them the urgency of passing a bill to fund a comprehensive response to Zika.
“The need for government funding is immediate. We cannot win the fight against the spread of the Zika virus without the resources to support responsive and proactive solutions,” said Dr.Zahn. “This means that funding must be comprehensive, including clinical support, access to contraception, educational outreach, prevention, and research. Every component is essential to our success and the health of women and babies.”
For more information on Zika virus, visit www.acog.org/zika.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of more than 57,000 members, The College strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(6) organization, is its companion organization. www.acog.org