Corporations Partner with Local Health Departments to Help Fight Zika
CDC has linked corporate partners with local health departments to help fight Zika in areas most affected by the virus. This is a unique and novel strategy and corporate partners like Home Depot, Ace Hardware, and Walgreens were happy to help. By co-sponsoring community events known as Zika Action Days with local health departments, corporate partners have helped get Zika prevention information and products along with Zika Prevention Kits for pregnant women to community members who attended events in Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Florida.
Home Depot sponsored the first Zika Action Day in Caguas, Puerto Rico. About 800 attendees, including 100 children who participated in a children’s workshop, learned different ways to prevent mosquito bites. “Partnering with retail stores benefits community members, as they can interact with the people they see all the time at their local Home Depot or Walmart,” said Mahmoud Aboukheir, who served as a health educator with the Puerto Rico Department of Health.
Similarly, during a Zika Action Day in American Samoa sponsored by Ace Hardware, participants received flu shots and health screenings in addition to Zika prevention education and resources.
Walgreens has also helped support Zika prevention efforts by sponsoring a Zika Action Day in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The corporation has also set up in-store displays of CDC educational materials alongside EPA-registered insect repellents and other Zika prevention products. Walgreens has featured these displays in communities at high risk for Zika across the United States, including 152 stores within Puerto Rico. Several other pharmacies have also used this model, extending CDC’s reach and amplifying Zika prevention messages.
For all of the Zika Action Days, the CDC Foundation has played a critical role. The Foundation helped CDC identify corporate sponsors as well as fund the purchase of Zika Prevention Kits for pregnant women. CDC Zika responder Sue Visser helped coordinate the first Zika Action Day in Puerto Rico and has continued to work with corporate partners on Zika prevention activities. “Corporate partners want to help. They see what’s happening in their community and want to position themselves as a trusted resource for Zika prevention,” said Visser.