Seventeen pregnant marine women return home over Zika-concerns

POSTED: 03/21/16 7:12 PM

ORANJESTAD – Pregnant women of marines stationed in Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten who are concerned about a possible Zika-infection and who want to return to the Netherlands, get their tickets paid for by the defense ministry, Sharina Henriquez reports on Caribisch Netwerk.

So far, seventeen women has used the option, said defense-spokeswoman Maartje van der Maas. “In ninety percent of the cases they are partners and the others are female employees.”

The sickbays do not advise against staying or against coming to the islands. “They are obliged to give information. Some of the women have returned again.”

The defense ministry took the measure a couple of months ago after employees had expressed their concerns, “We said: we brought you here so it is only fair that we pay to send you home.”

Van der Maas says that this is the first time the defense ministry takes such a measure. “With dengue and the other outbreaks this did not happen. We will re-evaluate the policy if there is a Zika-outbreak or when there is more clarity about the link with innate defects.”

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