The Zika outbreak in Brazil caused congenital impairments and developmental delays, or Congenital Zika Syndrome (CZS). We sought to ascertain whether a family support programme was needed and, if so, could be adapted from the Getting to Know Cerebral Palsy programme (GTKCP) designed for children with cerebral palsy (CP). We conducted a systematic review of the needs of families of children with CZS or CP in low- and middle-income countries and reviewed the findings of the Social and Economic Impact of Zika study. We undertook a scoping visit to three facilities offering services to children with CZS in Brazil to understand potential utility and adaptability of GTKCP. The literature review showed that caregivers of children with CZS experience challenges in mental health, healthcare access, and quality of life, consistent with the CP literature. The scoping visits demonstrated that most support provided to families was medically orientated and while informal support networks were established, these lacked structure. Caregivers and practitioners expressed an eagerness for more structure community-based family support programmes. A support programme for families of children with CZS in Brazil appeared relevant and needed, and may fill an important gap in the Zika response.
Keywords: Brazil; Zika; cerebral palsy; community programme; congenital zika syndrome; family support.