Cases of monkey pox continue to decline around the world – WHO

Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus – WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that the number of reported cases of monkey pox (mpox) has continued to drop to low levels in all regions of the world and this looks like a sustained decline.

It said due to the hard work of affected countries, cases of mpox have declined since it was declared a public health emergency of international concern in July last year.

These updates on the disease is contained in a statement made by the WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, at a meeting which took place at the 4th meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on multi-country outbreak of mpox.

The WHO boss was cited in the statement copied to Ghana Business News, saying the global body continues to receive reports from around the world, with more than 30 countries reporting in the last month.

“It is important to note that it is difficult to chart the true trajectory of the epidemic in the African Region due to the limited data available to WHO,” the statement added.

It said data sharing remains critical for all countries and that the slowdown in reported cases indicates the effectiveness of response measures globally.

“More than 85,000 cases of mpox have now been reported to WHO, with 92 deaths.”

“Since November, 90 percent of cases have been reported from the Region of the Americas,” the statement said.

It noted that bringing the outbreak to an end still requires intense effort, adding that “if we do not stop human-to-human transmission, we could face a resurgence of cases. And of course, we must remember that mpox has been endemic in many low-income countries in Africa for many years.”

“Even as it recedes in countries that have not seen major outbreaks before, this global outbreak must spur more sustained investment in addressing this disease everywhere,” the statement noted.

The WHO said, “going forward, we must sustain efforts for surveillance, prevention and care, vaccination of high-risk populations, improving equitable access to diagnostics, vaccines and treatment for all who need them.”

It called for the need for continuing the fight against stigma and discrimination, and ensuring respect for human rights.

It said over the longer-term, monkey pox programmes and services should be integrated into surveillance and control programmes for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

By Eunice Menka            

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