8 African countries report monkeypox cases – WHO

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Eight African countries have so far reported confirmed monkeypox cases, with several more countries reporting suspected cases, announced the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti Thursday.

At an online media briefing held Thursday, Moeti said that with nearly 1,900 confirmed monkeypox cases in 39 countries across the globe, eight African countries have reported cases.

Ghana and Morocco, which have not previously recorded cases of monkeypox, now have five and one confirmed cases, respectively, said Moeti.

There have been 36 confirmed cases in Nigeria, 10 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), eight in the Central African Republic, three each in Benin and Cameroon, and two in the Republic of the Congo, Moeti specified.

Ethiopia, Guinea, Liberia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Uganda — all countries with no previous incidence — have also reported suspected cases, she said.

As Africa is facing an “unusual situation,” Africa should “be adequately prepared” and have “fair access to both vaccines and treatment,” noted Moeti, warning the potential repeat of the inequities Africa experienced in respect of the COVID-19 response.

Speaking of the vaccination against monkeypox, Moeti said that though the WHO doesn’t recommend mass vaccination at this stage, Africa needs to be “ready should the need arise.”

The WHO said Tuesday that next week it would convene its Emergency Committee to advise on whether the current spread of monkeypox in non-endemic countries constitutes an international public health emergency.

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