A total of 66 people have died while 1 597 suspected cases of monkeypox have been recorded in African countries since the start of 2022, Al Jazeera reports.
The acting director of Africa’s top public health agency Ahmed Ogwell Ouma said the disease has not yet been contained on the continent.
He added that a smallpox vaccination campaign should start in Africa when it starts worldwide. Ouma said during a weekly briefing by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday:
Our position is that vaccination is an important tool and needs to start here in Africa.
Here… the burden is larger, the risk higher and the geographical spread is also broader.
Ouma said African countries that have reported confirmed cases are:
b). the Central African Republic,
c). Congo Republic,
d). the Democratic Repubic of Congo,
h). Liberia and
i). Sierra Leone,
But Europe remains the epicentre of the global monkeypox outbreak. Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe, told a news conference on Wednesday:
Europe remains the epicentre of this escalating outbreak, with 25 countries reporting more than 1,500 cases, or 85 percent of the global total.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is in the process of procuring thousands of monkeypox tests for Africa but is not recommending mass vaccination at this stage, its Africa Director Matshidiso Moeti has said.