Africa Barely Armed Against Monkeypox

Africa Barely Armed Against Monkeypox

Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s regional director for Africa / Image Coalition, AP Photo, Salvatore Di Nolfi

GENEVA – Africa’s health experts have called for better delivery of diagnostics and vaccinations in the fight against the monkeypox virus.

“What happened in the early days of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, when Africa looked on edge while other countries bought limited funding, should not be repeated,” said Matshidiso Moeti, Africa director of the World Health Organization.WHO), in a press conference today.

WHO currently advises against mass vaccination against the virus; Only vulnerable groups like health workers should be vaccinated. According to Moeti, there are already signs that some states are buying vaccines.

This has implications for the worst affected countries in Africa such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo or Nigeria. “The current global focus on monkeypox should serve as a catalyst for ultimately eliminating the disease in Africa,” said the Botswana-born doctor.

There is also a need to catch up in laboratory tests. As of the day before yesterday, 1,821 cases of monkeypox were reported in Africa; According to WHO, only 109 of them have been confirmed in laboratories.

The United Nations organization speaks of a “large number of suspected cases in the region”. DR Congo records more than 80 percent of them. In particular, the continent lacks the means to diagnose monkeypox. kna/

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