In the wake of severe Zika crisis in Singapore, Leonie Besson, who recently became a mother, has come forward to help other pregnant women who are extremely vulnerable to the virus. The 30-year-old teacher has announced on social media that any expecting woman is welcomed to stay in her house until the Zika threat is controlled.
According to Today Online, Besson reached out to pregnant strangers and their partners on Facebook and posted: "If anyone knows of a pregnant couple in (a) Zika-affected area (who) need somewhere high-rise to stay, walking distance to shops and supermarket ... please let me know." "Free use" of the kitchen and a "room with air-con and bed" will be included.
In an interview with the news agency, Besson said being a mother to a 10-month-old son influenced her decision. She said that the pre-natal stage is extremely delicate and she is aware of the physical and mental stress a pregnant woman goes through and wants to extend comfort to the needy.
"I was just thinking back to this time last year when I was pregnant. Being pregnant is already such a time to worry: Whether you're eating right, whether your baby has Down Syndrome," she said as reported by the news agency.
"I was just imagining what pregnant women feel right now, and I had this idea. We have an extra room, and I've never been bitten by a mosquito in my house. Someone might need a room somewhere, and we have that extra space," she added.
Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that can be passed from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby. The virus can cause birth defects and can also result in microcephaly - a case where the baby's head is smaller than expected. At present, there is no vaccine for Zika.
Meanwhile, Singapore is being informally quarantined by other countries after it recorded 215 cases of Zika, including two pregnant women who are tested positive. The Ministry of Health (MOH) and National Environment Agency (NEA) said it has already taken steps to monitor the situation but are expecting more cases.