Monkeypox cases confirmed in 8 African countries, WHO calls meeting to assess global threat | News24

  • Eight African international locations recorded a complete of 68 new confirmed monkeypox instances.
  • Ethiopia, Guinea, Liberia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Uganda have suspected instances.
  • WHO warns that out there monkeypox vaccines are restricted.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) will convene an emergency committee assembly subsequent week to find out whether or not monkeypox has turn into a world disaster.

The assembly shall be held at a time when eight African international locations, two of which had no historical past of monkeypox, have recorded instances – including to 1 900 instances recorded worldwide up to now.

“There are now a total of 1 900 confirmed cases in 39 countries across the globe, including eight African countries. Of those countries in Africa, monkeypox cases have been previously reported in six,” stated Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO Regional Director for Africa, at a digital press briefing.

Nigeria has the best variety of instances, whereas Morocco has just one case confirmed.

READ | Monkeypox: ‘Too early to call it a pandemic’

“There have been 36 cases in Nigeria, 10 in the Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC], eight in the Central African Republic [CAR], three each in Benin and Cameroon, two in the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville), Ghana and Morocco which have not previously reported cases of monkeypox now have five and one cases confirmed,” she stated.

There had been suspected instances in Ethiopia, Guinea, Liberia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Uganda, Moeti stated.

She stated extra wanted to be achieved to keep away from a state of affairs the place Africa is discovered unprepared, like in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak.

“This is clearly an unusual situation which is affecting more and more countries. We cannot afford any potential repeat, and we need to be adequately prepared. So WHO is convening an Emergency Committee on monkeypox next Thursday, 23 June,” she stated.

The committee will assess if the monkeypox outbreak was a public well being emergency of worldwide concern.

Moeti stated, up to now, international locations in Africa had been urged to do extra checks for monkeypox.

“As WHO in Africa, we are already ramping up support to countries to urgently increase testing capacity for monkeypox, and we are in the process of procuring thousands of tests [kits] for the continent,” she added.

Bavarian Nordic on Monday introduced that it might provide 110 000 doses of its MVA-BN smallpox/monkeypox vaccine to the European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) over the approaching months.

While there’s going to be a rollout in Europe, Moeti stated, “…although we are not recommending mass vaccination at this stage, we must ensure we are ready if the need arises. Global stocks are extremely limited at this stage, but we are working with member states and partners on a coordination mechanism to ensure fair access”. 

The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The tales produced by the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that could be contained herein don’t replicate these of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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