Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

WHO eyes decision on monkeypox 'emergency', Africa says it's long overdue

Coronavirus Jun 23, 2022 02:47PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
3/3 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Test tubes labelled "Monkeypox virus positive and negative" are seen in this illustration taken May 23, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo 2/3

By Jennifer Rigby

LONDON (Reuters) -The World Health Organization will decide on Thursday whether to declare monkeypox a global health emergency, stirring criticism from leading African scientists who say it has been a crisis in their region for years.

The deliberations and scrutiny of the WHO's response to the outbreak follows concerns over how the United Nations agency and governments worldwide handled COVID-19 in early 2020.

A "public health emergency of international concern" is WHO's highest level of alert. The agency does not declare pandemics, but it did start using the term to describe COVID-19 in March 2020.

For many governments, that - rather than WHO's earlier declaration of an emergency in January - was the moment they began to take real action to try to contain COVID, which proved to be too late to make a difference.

Monkeypox does not spread nearly as easily as COVID and there are vaccines and treatments available, unlike for the coronavirus when it emerged. But it has still raised alarm.

The case count from the current outbreak outside of Africa has topped 3,000 in more than 40 countries, according to a Reuters tally - largely among men who have sex with men - since it was first reported in May. There have been no reports of deaths.

The viral disease, which causes flu-like symptoms and skin lesions, is endemic in parts of Africa. The continent has registered just over 1,500 suspected cases since the start of 2022, of which 66 have been fatal, according to official data.

"When a disease affects developing countries, it is (apparently) not an emergency. It only becomes an emergency when developed countries are affected," said Professor Emmanuel Nakoune, acting director of the Institut Pasteur in Bangui, Central African Republic, who is running a trial of a monkeypox treatment.

Still, Nakoune said that if the WHO declares an emergency in the case of monkeypox, it would still be an important step.

"If there is the political will to share equitably the means of response between developed and developing countries..., each country will be able to benefit," he said.

At an online briefing with reporters on Thursday, the acting director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, said monkeypox case and death numbers were already at "emergency levels" on the continent.

The WHO will convene a closed meeting of experts at 12 p.m. (1000 GMT) in Geneva. It remains unclear when the decision will be announced.

The emergency committee meeting on Thursday includes experts from the most affected regions, who have also consulted with scientists including Nakoune. They will make a recommendation to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who makes the ultimate decision on whether to call the emergency.

The step mainly functions to sound the alarm, and can prompt further guidance from the WHO, as well as focus attention among member states. The WHO has already provided detailed guidance on the outbreak and said it is working on a mechanism for sharing treatments and vaccines.

Most experts agree monkeypox technically meets the criteria for the WHO definition of an emergency. It is a sudden and unusual event spreading internationally, and requires cross-country cooperation.

But the WHO is in a precarious position after COVID, according to Clare Wenham, a global health assistant professor at the London School of Economics.

If the WHO declares an emergency and countries do not act, it could undermine the agency's role in controlling global disease, she said.

"They're damned if they do, and damned if they don't," she added.

WHO eyes decision on monkeypox 'emergency', Africa says it's long overdue
 

Related Articles

WHO says monkeypox is not yet a health emergency
WHO says monkeypox is not yet a health emergency By Reuters - Jun 25, 2022 8

LONDON (Reuters) -Monkeypox is not yet a global health emergency, the World Health Organization (WHO) ruled on Saturday, although WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus...

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (3)
Bernard Devlin
Bernard Devlin 21 hours ago
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Monkey pox is another money spinning racket for Big Pfharma....
Donald Musk
Donald Musk 23 hours ago
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
I started my investment with $5000 and made $7000 profit in a week of trading and I make more currently. I make $10000 every week With the help of Henry Anderson fx on Face📄book
Jack Peterson
Jack Peterson Jun 23, 2022 8:36AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Combine Covid-19 and mMonkeypox and you get CoronaMonkey
Bernard Devlin
Bernard Devlin 21 hours ago
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
or Jungle fever?
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email