A year on, mothers of Brazil's zika babies struggle

Brenda Pereira, 23, weeps in dismay as she leaves the doctor's room with her four-month-old daughter Maria Fernanda in her arms.

A year on, mothers of Brazil's zika babies struggle

World Bulletin / News Desk

Brazil's 2015-2016 zika scare has largely dropped out of the headlines, but one year on, thousands of parents are struggling as they learn to care for brain-damaged babies.

The pediatrician has just told her that Maria Fernanda's case of microcephaly is worse than previously thought.

The zika disease, spread by mosquito bites, causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads.

"I hope she will be able to speak. That she will be as normal as possible," says Pereira.

"That is why I bring her to the doctor: to try to make her fit into society. Because people do not see our children as people."

Brazil has confirmed 2,289 cases of babies born with microcephaly in the epidemic that started in 2015. Authorities say there are 3,144 other suspected cases pending confirmation.

Since most of those babies are no more than a year old, Brazilian doctors' experience of treating them is limited.

In cases like Maria Fernanda's, the doctors do not have answers to all the parents' questions.

"If the doctors do not know, then how can I?" she says. "I have learned to live with her because I must."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Ocak 2017, 09:44