This research, conducted in partnership with the Wellcome Trust, is a two-site study in Brazil, focussing on Recife, where Zika virus (ZIKV) is highly endemic, and Rio de Janeiro, where it has been less common up until now. Its mixed methods aim to assess the social and economic impacts of ZIKV at the individual (mother), family and societal level, by collecting quantitative, economic and qualitative data. The focus of the research is on Congenital Zika Syndrome (CZS), given the great expertise of the group in this area. Outputs will include scientific papers on the social and economic impacts of ZIKV at the individual and societal level and a stakeholder workshop.
Our team is responsible for leading the qualitative component of this project, which aims to understand the social and economic impacts of ZIKV among women, taking into consideration the social determinants of health and illness and the part they are playing in this epidemic. The research also aims to understand how risk perception, risk communication and anxieties fuelled by uncertainties are impacting women’s actions and interactions with health and social services. The research examines what narratives about present and future are being formed; what coping strategies are in place (individual and community); what sort of support (social, governmental, financial) is available to families and babies with CZS and what additional support families with babies with CZS feel would help them. We will also explore where women, their families and health care workers at different levels of the system get there information about ZIKV and CZS and which sources of information that they trust.