Lillian Tamayo, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida, told NPR that Miami-Dade County has the state’s largest population of people without health coverage, which leaves these residents particularly vulnerable to Zika. “More than one-third of Florida does not have an OB-GYN,” she said. “It also is among the worst states in the country for women’s health and women’s well-being. And it has staggering infection rates for sexually transmitted diseases. And now we have Zika.”
Jean Baptiste is one of the Miami residents Tamayo is eager to reach. Baptiste lives in an apartment above a convenience store in the neighborhood of Little Haiti with her father and several other people. When one of Planned Parenthood’s canvassers, Lenroy Watt, showed up at her door recently, Baptiste told him she hadn’t heard anything about Zika.
“You’re not aware of it?” Watt asked Baptiste, a bit surprised. “All right, not a problem,” he continued. “So it’s a good thing we’re here today then, to make you aware.”
Watt talked to Baptiste about the virus and the illness, and left information in Creole, including phone numbers for mosquito control, and for the county’s health offices where free Zika tests are available for pregnant women.
In the weeks since local Zika transmission was confirmed in the nearby neighborhood of Wynwood, the mosquito control agency has conducted intensive spraying there. Health workers have also gone door-to-door in Wynwood, testing residents for the virus. But in Little Haiti, just blocks away, people have received very little information about Zika, resident Harry Noel told NPR.
“Nobody ever show up to educate the neighborhood, those people, how to get rid of mosquitoes, what to do,” he said. “Nobody! It’s for the first time I’ve seen somebody coming and … address that problem.”
Family planning is a key part of the …