Monkeypox kills 66 in Africa

17 Jun, 2022 - 00:06 0 Views
Monkeypox kills 66 in Africa

The Herald

ADDIS ABABA. – African countries have documented 1 597 suspected cases of monkeypox since the start of 2022, of which 66 have been fatal, the acting director of Africa’s top public health agency Ahmed Ogwell Ouma said yesterday.

The disease has not yet been contained on the continent, he said, adding that when a smallpox vaccination campaign starts to contain monkeypox worldwide it should begin in Africa.

“Our position is that vaccination is an important tool and needs to start here in Africa,” Ouma said during a weekly briefing by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Here… the burden is larger, the risk higher and the geographical spread is also broader,” he said.

African countries that have reported confirmed cases are Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Congo Republic, the Democratic Repubic of Congo, Nigeria, Morocco, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Ouma said.

Meanwhile he World Health Organisation is in the process of procuring thousands of monkeypox tests for Africa but is not recommending mass vaccination at this stage, its Africa Director Matshidiso Moeti has said.

She added that the continent should be prepared for vaccination should the need arise.

Monkeypox is endemic in parts of Africa. More than 30 countries where the viral disease is not endemic have reported outbreaks this year, most of them in Europe. – Reuters

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