During the Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreak, an urgent need existed for strong partnerships to disseminate Zika-related information to pregnant women and women of child-bearing age.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) partnered with MotherToBaby, a national organization experienced in providing information about exposures during pregnancy to healthcare providers and the public, to disseminate accurate information about ZIKV infection during pregnancy. Partnership activities included regular information sharing, cross-linking information for the public, and promoting common messaging. Following the ZIKV outbreak, we reviewed common inquiries received as well as key strategies and lessons learned from the partnership.
Between June 2016 and June 2019, MotherToBaby received 5,387 Zika-related inquiries from the public and health care providers. The majority (90%) of inquires came from preconception, pregnant, and breastfeeding women. Concerns about travel, pregnancy, sexual transmission, and preconception guidelines comprised the top information requests. Live chat was the preferred method of communication for Zika-related inquiries. Key strategies and lessons learned from this partnership included: capitalizing on existing nationwide infrastructure and expertise, prominently referring to partners as a resource, promoting shared messaging using online resources and social media, holding regular calls to share information, and collecting data to identify common questions and revise messaging.
This examination of strategies, lessons learned, and metrics from MotherToBaby and CDC’s partnership during the ZIKV outbreak can be applied to future partnerships to address emerging public health threats.
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