• Mulher Nordestina: The Effect of Politics, the Environment, and Public Health Policy on Northeastern Women in Brazil

      da Silva Bacelar, Antonio J.; Camarena, Esteban; Peterson, V. Spike; Vásquez León, Marcela (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      In 2016, Brazil’s economy was in recession and the country’s political system was in crisis that culminated in the end of the leftist Workers Party (Partidos dos Trabalhadores [PT]) rule of government by means of impeachment of Dilma Rousseff. At the same time, the Brazilian government and the World Health Organization declared a public health crisis triggered by the Zika virus epidemic that was largely concentrated in the Northeast region of Brazil. The Zika virus is an arbovirus that is transmitted by the common Aedes aegypti mosquito, which thrives in tropical environments and areas with poor sanitation and infrastructure. The Zika virus can also be transmitted through sexual activity with an infected person, and there is a strong correlation between the virus and congenital disorders in infants whose parents were infected. The epidemic exposed the government’s inability to properly respond to a public health crisis and exacerbated the need to invest in sanitation and infrastructure, as the Zika virus disproportionately affected Brazil’s marginalized populations. In other words, the Zika epidemic exposed the region’s precarious political ecology and its uneven effects on different segments of society. This research centers on the government’s policy response to the Zika epidemic, in tandem with the economic and political crisis, first during the Rousseff administration then abruptly under the Temer administration. Specifically, this research examines the impact of policy changes on organizations (governmental and non-governmental) and individuals affected by the Zika epidemic.