Countries need to work together more closely to stop the rapidly spreading cases of Monkeypox, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.
Speaking from Dakar, Senegal, Assistant Director-General for Emergencies at WHO, Dr Ibrahima Soce Fall said during the biweekly briefing on August 2, 2022, that as long as the disease did not spread to the Northern Countries, the world chose to ignore it and termed it a neglected tropical disease.
“We have been working on monkeypox in Africa for several years. Nobody was interested. It is, what is unfortunately called a 'neglected tropical disease,” Dr Fall who also serves as Assistant Secretary at UNO said.
“We worked a lot on that with very few resources and it was needed that the northern countries are being affected by this disease for the world to react. It was the same with the Zika virus and we have to stop this discrimination,” he added.
Stating that the world must be involved to protect vulnerable populations irrespective of their nationality, race or religion, Dr fall said, “I think it is extremely important and now that more than 70 countries are affected in the world, everyone is getting active.”
Welcoming the interest generated in research funding for Monkeypox, Dr Fall said, “It is important, and we have already been doing so, to accelerate the research and development agenda on Monkeypox so that the most affected African countries can have the resources to prevent and fight against Monkeypox.”
Calling for increased global investment to protect the marginalised population living in rural and forest areas of Africa, Dr Fall said, “I think it is time that the world invests so that these populations living in rural areas and forest areas, can be protected.”
“If we only treat what is happening in Europe and America, we will only treat the symptoms of Monkeypox, but not the real disease,” he added.
Data released by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that since January 1, 2022, over 25 thousand confirmed cases of monkeypox have been reported from 83 countries so far.