ECONOMYNEXT – World Health Organization on Saturday declared Monkeypox disease a public health emergency of international concern.
WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, the cases have increased to 16,000 cases from 3040 cases a month ago and cases have been reported from more than 75 countries.
Five deaths due to the disease has been reported so far.
Tedros said, according to WHO’s assessment, the risk of monkeypox is moderate globally and in all regions, except in the European region where the WHO assess the risk as high.
“There is also a clear risk of further international spread, although the risk of interference with international traffic remains low for the moment,” Tedros said.
Tedros said “in short, we have an outbreak that has spread around the world rapidly, through new modes of transmission, about which we understand too little, and which meets the criteria in the International Health Regulations,”
“For all of these reasons, I have decided that the global monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern,”
Tedros said even through it has been declared as a public health emergency of international concern, for the moment this is an outbreak that is concentrated among men who have sex with men, especially those with multiple sexual partners.
“That means that this is an outbreak that can be stopped with the right strategies in the right groups,” Tedros said.
“It’s therefore essential that all countries work closely with communities of men who have sex with men, to design and deliver effective information and services, and to adopt measures that protect the health, human rights and dignity of affected communities.”
“Stigma and discrimination can be as dangerous as any virus.
With the disease being globally speeded, WHO has made a set of recommendations for four groups of countries:
First, those that have not yet reported a case of monkeypox, or have not reported a case for more than 21 days;
Second, those with recently imported cases of monkeypox and that are experiencing human-to-human transmission.
• This includes recommendations to implement a coordinated response to stop transmission and protect vulnerable groups;
• To engage and protect affected communities;
• To intensify surveillance and public health measures;
• To strengthen clinical management and infection prevention and control in hospitals and clinics;
• To accelerate research into the use of vaccines, therapeutics and other tools;
• And recommendations on international travel.
The third group of countries is those with transmission of monkeypox between animals and humans;
And the fourth is countries with manufacturing capacity for diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics.
“In addition to our recommendations to countries, I am also calling on civil society organizations, including those with experience in working with people living with HIV, to work with us on fighting stigma and discrimination,” Tedros said.
“But with the tools we have right now, we can stop transmission and bring this outbreak under control,” (Colombo/ July 22/2022)