Protecting the Tribes from the Zika Virus

It’s no secret the Zika Virus is making headline news, it’s pretty terrifying if you ask me. I’m sure you’ve heard the news of infected species of mosquito swarming in and passing on the Zika Virus, affecting the health of people and even unborn children with microcephaly. The one thing we don’t see (that we really should) are plans of action to help people and protect those that are most heavily impacted.Protecting the Tribes from the Zika Virus

It’s also not a secret that those who are outside more often are going to be at a higher level of danger. What does that mean for the Native American tribes that celebrate the beauty of nature religiously and rely on natural resources for survival? I think that the Native American tribes are one of the most likely groups to be impacted by the Zika Virus for these reasons.

These things often bother me, but it’s nice to see people in politics finally doing something about it, especially when it happens in my home state of Arizona. Thirty-three congressional representatives, led by Raúl M. Grijalva and Ann Kirkpatrick addressed the House Speaker (Paul Ryan) on May 16th to discuss this issue in more detail.

Their letter addressed the issue that Native American tribes are more at risk for the Zika Virus and the Indian Health Services staff is heavily underfunded. This is slowly leading to the proposal of operating and reconstructing affected areas with better infrastructure for tribal health. Hopefully this will lead to the revamping of the Indian Health Services to provide better help with all illnesses, not just the Zika Virus.

Until a solution is found for the Zika Virus, the best thing our government can do is provide better funding and infrastructure to help support people that are more at risk. I hope the good people of Arizona and those in other states will get behind politicians that support the health and well-being of the tribes and our country as their first priority.

Protecting the Tribes from the Zika Virus

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