Since 2022 started, Africa has recorded around 1,597 cases of suspected Monkeypox of which there have been 66 fatalities. This was revealed in a press release on Thursday by the acting director of a top public health agency in Africa, Ahmed Ogwell Ouma.
According to Ouma, the African continent has not been able to contain the disease to its shores, and he also added that when a smallpox vaccination campaign for the world starts, it should ideally begin in Africa.
In a weekly briefing by the African Center for Disease Control, Ouma said that their position on the vaccination is very lucid and clear and that it is an important and vital tool that needs to initiate from Africa.
He said,” here… the burden is much larger, the risk is also higher and the spread in terms of geographical coverage is also much broader.”
The countries that have reported confirmed cases of monkeypox are Cameroon, Congo Republic, Central African Republic, Congo Republic, the DRC, Ghana, Morocco, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.
Next week the World Health Organization (WHO) will convene a meeting wherein they will decide if the monkeypox virus should be a matter of human health emergency of international concern.
It should be noted that Monkeypox is endemic in many parts of Africa, including Cameroon. In excess of 30 countries where this is not endemic have reported cases this very year and most of these cases are from European countries.