The acting director of Africa’s main public health body hopes that, unlike with the COVID-19 medicines, wealthier countries will not stockpile medicines during the present monkeypox outbreak.
Monkeypox is endemic in 11 African nations, notably Cameroon, disease Central African Republic, the Republic Of congo, and Nigeria.
The Global Health Organization (WHO) stated this weekend that it expects to find more instances of monkeypox as it improves monitoring in places where the disease is uncommon.
“Vaccines should reach where they are most needed and equitably,” Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, assistant head of the Africa U.s. centers For Disease control and Prevention, said at a weekly news briefing on Thursday.
“We’re working with all of our member countries on the region to increase monkeypox surveillance,” he said.
Monkeypox vaccinations are not currently available, but the smallpox vaccine has been demonstrated to provide up to 85% protection against the disease.
Smallpox vaccination supplies would be prioritized for health personnel and places with confirmed instances of the virus, according to Ouma.
“Usually and initially, healthcare workers on the front lines, next by communities affected where outbreaks are first identified, and last, the wider public,” he explained.
“We don’t have enough stock to sell to the public at large just yet.”