Correlation between the Zika virus and sanitary an...

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Correlation between the Zika virus and sanitary and drainage conditions in the Metropolitan Areas of Fortaleza/Ceará (Brazil)


Newton Fund RCUK-CONFAP Research Partnership




FIOCRUZ, National School of Public Health – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Project Team

Professor Susanne Charlesworth (PI) and Dr. Matthew Blackett

Project Objectives

The aim of this project is to investigate the relationship between mosquito-vectored Zika, inadequate provision of secure and safe potable supplies, drainage and sanitation. Objectives:

  1. Develop geographical information system (GIS) based maps of Zika and microcephaly incidence in Ceará and Rio de Janeiro.  Correlate Zika spread with lack of potable supplies, drainage and sanitation.
  2. Utilise the GIS database to develop a decision support tool for National and State level to prioritise and design infrastructure to reduce mosquito breeding.
  3. Recommend strategies to manage surface water, safe greywater disposal, provide sustainable water supplies, safe storage of drinking water and harvesting rainwater away from mosquitoes.

Research Impact

We intend to disseminate our results via workshops at State and Government level, to pass on our knowledge of the need for a reliable, safe and secure potable water supply which would obviate the need for residents to store water in case of scarcity. We will also explain the multiple benefits of the SuDS approach, and how it can be designed into settlements using the Ceará and Rio de Janeiro case study sites. As well as general SuDS, the safe disposal of greywater will be explained, as will the utility of rainwater harvesting, both of which will deny the mosquito access to water to lay its eggs. Our comprehensive reports will give further details to engage the stakeholders and will be available at the workshops. We will maximise the potential of this project by producing a decision support tool (DST) to be trialled at State level which will indicate what infrastructure is needed and where it can be designed in to the existing buildings. Our ambitious aim in the future is to retrofit these infrastructures into our case study areas and monitor the effect this has on the mosquito population. In the two case study areas, Ceará and Rio de Janeiro, we will work with the respective regulatory agency and the National School of Public Health to host a website giving our results and recommendations. We will also invite government representatives to monitor over the long term what has been undertaken by public providers as a result of this project to invest in civil works to improve sanitation conditions.