The outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus across Central and South America has many looking for a solution.

The Zika virus is strongly suspected to be linked to birth defects, including microcephaly, a disease in which a baby is born with an underdeveloped brain and unusually small head. The illness is also believed to be linked to severe eye abnormalities in babies, which may lead to blindness, and some also fear there may be a connection between the Zika virus and a rare nerve disorder.

In this week's Headliner, we speak to Celso Amorim, Brazil's former foreign minister and a member of the UN Secretary General's High-level Panel on the Global Response to the Health Crises.

Amorim says that he does not believe the country is losing the battle against the Zika virus, but calls it a "big" and "unexpected" problem.

"Brazil ... acted quickly [and] with great transparency," he adds.

The spread of the virus in Brazil has also reignited the debate over abortion, which is illegal in Brazil with certain exceptions. Amorim says that in the light of the disease, "regulation should be relaxed", but with strong opposition from the public and the Roman Catholic Church this would "require an evolution from society".

Follow UpFront on Twitter @AJUpFront and Facebook.

Source: Al Jazeera