Unfortunately, African health authorities have searched for several months for vaccines to cure mpox and their further spread was mostly to no avail as outbreaks were reported all over the world during this year. But there is some light at the end of the tunnel as considerable help could come from the Republic of South Korea.
The African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said a few thousand doses, the first shipment of mpox vaccines as donations, would arrive shortly and be used for health workers and people living with the disease. disease in the worst affected areas of Africa.
This year, the continent has recorded 202 deaths from mpox, formerly known as monkeypox, with a mortality rate of 19.3% in 13 countries. African health authorities have been making feverish efforts for months to curb the spread of the disease.
According to acting CDC director Ahmed Ogwell, more than 50 new mpox cases were reported in Congo this month, and he said Ghana and Nigeria are the other hardest-hit countries. In particular, an increase in mpox infections was reported last May outside of West and Central Africa.
“Let’s bring vaccines to the mainland,” acting CDC chief Ahmed Ogwell said at a weekly news conference pointing to another case of 1.3 billion people on the mainland without access to a vaccine, as in the Covid-19 pandemic. .
“Solutions must be global in nature. If we’re not sure, the rest of the world isn’t sure,” she warned.
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned against discrimination. “Failure to act will have serious consequences for global health,” Lawrence Gostin, director of the WHO Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law, said on Twitter.
Health officials have emphasized that mpox can infect anyone who is in close contact with a patient or with their contaminated clothing or sheets. Researchers are still exploring to establish how it spreads, but they think it is mainly through close skin-to-skin contact and through contact with bedding and clothing that touched the rash or bodily fluids from an infected person.
It usually causes mild to moderate symptoms, including fever, fatigue, and painful skin lesions that resolve within a few weeks.
However, reports said that the mpox had been established in parts of central and western Africa for decades; It was not known to cause large outbreaks beyond the continent or to spread widely among people until May, when authorities detected dozens of outbreaks in Europe, North America and elsewhere.
In Africa, mpox is mainly transmitted to people by infected wildlife, such as rodents, in limited outbreaks that have generally not crossed borders. In Europe, North America and elsewhere, mpox is spreading among people with no ties to animals or recent travel to Africa. In the US and Europe, the vast majority of infections occur among men who have sex with men, although health officials have emphasized that anyone can catch the virus.