African countries

WHO: Eight out of 39 African countries have reported cases of monkeypox

This electron microscope (EM) image depicts a monkeypox virion, obtained from a clinical specimen associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. It was a thin section image of a human skin specimen. On the left were oval-shaped mature virus particles, and on the right were crescents and spherical particles of immature virions. High resolution: Click here for a high resolution image (5.21 MB) Content provider(s): CDC/ Cynthia S. Goldsmith Date created: 2003 Photo credit: Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regnery

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), eight African countries are among the 39 countries worldwide that have reported a total of 1,900 confirmed cases of monkeypox.

WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti said on Saturday that six of the eight countries had already reported cases of the viral disease.

FILE PHOTO: An electron microscope (EM) image of a monkeypox virion, obtained from a clinical specimen. /APC

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, accounts for most cases with 36, followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo with 10 and the Central African Republic eight. Benin and Cameroon have reported three cases each and the Republic of Congo has reported two confirmed cases.

The two countries that have no history of recorded cases are Ghana and Morocco and have reported five cases and one case respectively.

Additionally, seven countries have reported suspected cases of monkeypox where there was previously no incidence. They are: Ethiopia, Guinea, Liberia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Uganda.

“This is clearly an unusual situation that is affecting more and more countries,” Moeti said, adding that better preparations needed to be put in place for the continent to avoid the inequities suffered during the pandemic response. of COVID-19.

“As WHO in Africa, we are already scaling up our support to countries to urgently increase testing capacity for monkeypox and we are in the process of procuring thousands of tests for the continent.”

Moeti said a newer, safer smallpox vaccine has been approved for the prevention of monkeypox, but the UN health agency does not recommend mass vaccination at this time.

Moeti, however, warned that the continent must be ready to act when needed.

“Global stocks are extremely limited at this stage, but we are working closely with Member States and partners on a coordination mechanism to ensure equitable access to vaccines and treatments.”

Moeti’s warning comes days before the WHO convenes an emergency committee to advise on whether the current spread of monkeypox in non-endemic countries constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.

(Story compiled with help from thread reports)