- Advertisment -
HomeEconomyWHO considering declaring monkeypox as a global health emergency MPNRC
- Advertisment -

WHO considering declaring monkeypox as a global health emergency MPNRC

- Advertisment -
- Advertisement -

This 1997 image was provided by the CDC during its investigation into an outbreak of monkeypox that occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), formerly Zaire, and shows the dorsal surfaces of the hands of a monkeypox patient. (Photo Credits: AP/PTI)

- Advertisement -

London: The World Health Organization convened its emergency committee on Thursday to consider whether the growing outbreak of monkeypox warrants declaring a global emergency. But some experts say the WHO’s decision only after the disease spread to the West could address the stark disparities that have arisen between rich and poor countries during the coronavirus pandemic.

Declaring monkeypox a global emergency would mean the United Nations health agency considers the outbreak an “extraordinary event” and that the disease threatens to spread across even greater borders, potentially requiring a global response. This will give monkeypox the same distinction as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to eradicate polio.

- Advertisement -

The WHO said it did not expect to announce any decisions made by its emergency committee before Friday. Many scientists are skeptical that any such announcement will help curb the pandemic, as developed countries that have recorded recent cases are already moving quickly to shut it down.

- Advertisement -

Last week, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described the monkeypox epidemic recently identified in more than 40 countries, mostly in Europe, as “unusual and concerning”.

Monkeypox has sickened people in Central and West Africa for decades, where one version of the disease kills up to 10 percent of those infected. The variant of the disease seen in Europe and elsewhere usually has a mortality rate of less than 1 percent and no deaths have been reported so far beyond Africa.

“If the WHO was really concerned about the monkeypox outbreak, they could have called their emergency committee years ago when it started again in Nigeria in 2017 and nobody knew why we suddenly had hundreds of cases,” he said. Said Oyewale Tomori, a Nigerian virologist who sits on many. WHO Advisory Group.

“It’s a little curious that the WHO only called its experts when the disease appeared in white countries,” he said. Until last month, monkeypox had not caused a large-scale outbreak outside Africa.

Scientists have found no mutations in the virus that suggest it is more contagious, and a key WHO advisory said last month a rise of cases in Europe between gay and bisexual men in Spain and Belgium in two waves. was associated with the activity. ,

To date, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed more than 3,300 cases of monkeypox in 42 countries where the virus is not commonly seen. More than 80 percent of cases are in Europe.

Meanwhile, Africa has reported more than 1,400 cases this year, including 62 deaths. David Fiedler, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, said the WHO’s new focus on monkeypox amid the outbreak outside Africa may inadvertently worsen the divide between rich and poor countries seen during COVID-19.

“There may be valid reasons why the WHO only sounded the alarm when monkeypox spread to rich countries, but in poorer countries, it looks like a double standard,” Fiedler said. He said the global community was still struggling to ensure that the world’s poor were vaccinated against the coronavirus and it was unclear whether Africans also wanted the monkeypox vaccine, given competing priorities such as malaria and HIV. looking at.

“Unless African governments specifically ask for vaccines, sending them may be of little protection because it is in the West’s interest to prevent monkeypox from being exported,” Fiedler said.

The WHO has also proposed creating a vaccine-sharing mechanism to help affected countries, which could see doses in affluent countries such as Britain, which has the largest monkeypox outbreak beyond Africa – and more recently limit the use of vaccines. widened.

To date, the majority of cases in Europe have been in men who are gay or bisexual, or other men who have sex with men, but scientists warn that close contact with an infected person or their clothing or bedsheets can cause infection. There is danger. , regardless of their sexual orientation.

People with monkeypox often experience symptoms such as fever, body aches, and rash; Most recover within weeks without medical care. Even though the WHO has declared monkeypox a global emergency, it is not clear what the impact might be.

In January 2020, WHO declared COVID-19 an international emergency. But some countries took notice until March, when the organization described it as a pandemic, weeks after several other officials did the same. The WHO was later slammed for several misconceptions during the pandemic, which some experts said could be a sign of a swift monkeypox response.

“After COVID, the WHO does not want to be the last to declare monkeypox as an emergency,” said Amanda Glassman, executive vice president of the Center for Global Development.

“It may not escalate to the level of a COVID-like emergency, but it is still a public health emergency that needs to be addressed.” Salim Abdul Karim, an epidemiologist and vice chancellor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, said the WHO and others should do more to prevent monkeypox in Africa and elsewhere, but was not convinced that a global emergency declaration would help. Will get

“It’s a wrong idea that Africa is this poor, helpless continent, when in reality we know how to deal with the pandemic,” Abdul Karim said. He said stopping the outbreak ultimately depends on things like surveillance, isolating patients and public education.

“Maybe they need vaccines in Europe to prevent monkeypox, but here, we are able to control it with very simple measures,” he said.

ALSO READ: No case of monkeypox in India, says Health Minister; issues guidelines for states

- Advertisement -
- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -

Most Popular

- Advertisment -