This Powerpuff Girls PSA Is Teaching Brazilian Kids About Zika
When it comes to fighting Zika, we need all the help we can get.
When it comes to fighting Zika, the World Health Organization is taking all the help it can get, including enlisting the help of cartoon-loving kids.
Zika, a mosquito-spread virus linked to birth defects, has now reached 60 countries worldwide and has largely affected Latin American countries. To help efforts to reduce the number of mosquitoes that spread the virus, the WHO's Pan American Health Organization is rolling out a public service announcement campaign aimed at kids, featuring cartoon characters like the Powerpuff Girls:
The ads, which are currently running on the Cartoon Network's Latin America channels, encourage kids to dump out pools of standing water to eliminate breeding grounds for mosquitoes and also give tips for avoiding mosquito bites, such as wearing long sleeves.
The emphasis on the importance of reducing the number of mosquitoes is particularly poignant after the WHO's director Dr. Margaret Chan criticized countries Monday for lackluster mosquito control. Massive eradication efforts helped significantly drop mosquito numbers in many Latin American countries in the 1960s, including Brazil, which has been hardest hit so far by the virus. But over time, those efforts were abandoned and the population reemerged. Chan called Zika "the price being paid for a massive policy failure that dropped the ball on mosquito control in the 1970s".
Now that the mosquito population has become a specific threat, there's a renewed urgency to fight back and a desperation to do it quickly. If that means calling on little kids to pitch in, that's probably not the worst idea.