Public health officials in El Salvador have warned people not to have children until 2018 in a bid to reduce the effects of the disease which causes birth defects.
Map: The i newspaper/WHO
We'd like to suggest to all the women of fertile age that they take steps to plan their pregnancies, and avoid getting pregnant between this year and next.
- El Salvador's deputy health minister, Eduardo Espinoza
However, family planning and abortion laws in predominantly Catholic Latin America are making that very difficult.
In El Salvador, where more than 5,000 cases have been diagnosed in the last year, abortion is completely outlawed and sex education of young girls and boys is much further behind other parts of the world.
How are we going to prevent pregnancies of these girls... [if] there are no emergency contraceptive pills available at health units after someone is raped?
Abortion would be the solution but [it] is fully penalised... Asking only women not to become pregnant is irresponsible when all these factors exist...
It is absurd; women have the right to decide what to do.