A comparison of cases of the Zika virus, which results in microcephaly (a condition in which babies are born with smaller than usual heads), has found than Guyana ranks No.1 in South America.
This conclusion was drawn from cases recorded in 2017.
“15,750 births were recorded with an incidence of the microcephaly condition being recorded at 12.7% by ten thousand births,” said Dr Susanne Seibs, the Ministry of Public Health’s Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission Coordinator.
She was speaking during the opening ceremony for the USAID Zika Maternal and Child Health Close-out event held at the Roraima Duke Lodge, Kingston Georgetown on Wednesday.
Seibs then pointed out that when compared to the recorded rates in South America Guyana ranks the highest.
It was also found that Guyana recorded the No.1 ranking when compared to growth of the disease in Jamaica, Brazil, Canada and the USA.
Guyana’s first Zika case was recorded in January of 2016 and according to Dr Seibs, a larger number of microcephaly cases were seen in Region 4, primarily areas surrounding greater Georgetown, and along the East Coast of Demerara.
The first baby born with microcephaly was recorded in Region Seven in September 2017.
During that year, there were 20 other births reported in Regions 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 10.
For all of 2018 and up to March 2019, three additional cases were reported.
Dr Seids said that of the babies born with microcephaly 17 are currently in the care of rehabilitative and paediatric services.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has concluded for some time that the Zika virus is one of the leading causes of the microcephaly condition.
According to the WHO, microcephaly is a rare condition that one in several thousand babies are born with.