Eight African nations have reported confirmed monkeypox cases, with several more reporting suspected cases, according to Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.
Moeti stated during an online media conference on Thursday that there are approximately 1,900 confirmed monkeypox cases in 39 countries worldwide, with eight African nations reporting cases. According to Moeti, Ghana and Morocco, which had no prior occurrences of monkeypox, now have five and one confirmed cases, respectively.
According to Moeti, 36 monkeypox confirmed cases have been reported in Nigeria, 10 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), eight in the Central African Republic, three each in Benin and Cameroon, and two in the Republic of the Congo.
Ethiopia, Guinea, Liberia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Sudan, and Uganda, all of which had no previous incidents, have also reported suspected cases, according to her.
Because Africa is in a “unique circumstance,” it should “be fully prepared” and have “fair access to both vaccinations and treatment,” according to Moeti, who warned of a replay of the disparities observed during the COVID-19 response.
In terms of monkeypox vaccine, Moeti stated that, while the WHO does not propose widespread immunisation at this time, Africa must be “ready should the need arise.”
WHO meet on Monkeypox
The WHO said on Tuesday that its Emergency Committee will meet next week to determine whether the current spread of monkeypox in non-endemic nations constitutes a worldwide public health emergency.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, stated, “The outbreak of monkeypox is unusual and concerning. For that reason I have decided to convene the Emergency Committee under the international health regulations next week, to assess whether this outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern.”
Later on, he stated, “It’s also crucial that vaccines are provided equitably wherever they are required”. To that aim, WHO is working together with its Member States and partners to devise a mechanism to ensure that vaccinations and treatments are distributed fairly. “While smallpox vaccines should provide some protection against #monkeypox,” he added, “there is insufficient clinical data and supplies.”
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