However, once northern countries began getting affected by the disease “the world reacted”.Although a vaccine to prevent Monkeypox was approved in 2019, availability remains limited at the moment.
Until this year, the virus that causes Monkeypox has rarely spread outside Africa, where it is endemic.
“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,” upheld Dr Fall.
Public Health Emergency
But reports of a handful of cases in Britain in early May signalled that the outbreak had moved into Europe.
Once referred to as a “neglected tropical disease,” he said that WHO had been working on Monkeypox with very few resources.
On 23 July, the WHO declared the spread of the virus to be a public health emergency of international concern – the organization’s highest level of alert.
“I think it is extremely important and now that more than 70 countries are affected in the world, everyone is getting active”.
Resources for Africa
“It was the same with the Zika virus and we have to stop this discrimination,” said Dr. Fall.
“We have had many cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Cameroon, and some sporadic cases in countries such as Ghana, Benin etc. “, Dr. Fall said. “I think it is time that the world invests so that these populations that are living in rural areas and in forest areas, can be protected”. According to Dr Fall, “if we only treat what is happening in Europe and America, we will only treat the symptoms of Monkeypox, but not the real disease. It is important that the world gets mobilized to this kind of disease”.
In this way, WHO aims to enhance coordination, the cooperation of nations, and global solidarity.
Time for global investment
“The world must be involved to protect these populations, no matter their nationality, their skin colour, or their religion,” said Dr. Fall,
Speaking from Dakar, Senegal, WHO Assistant Director-General for Emergencies Ibrahima Soce Fall said that “we have been working on monkeypox in Africa for several years, but nobody was interested”.