WHO says Nigeria accounts for half of monkeypox deaths in Africa

By our reporter| The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday said half of the deaths recorded from monkeypox in 2022 across Africa are from Nigeria.

Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, who made the disclosure while speaking at a virtual media briefing, said there have now been 524 confirmed cases and 12 deaths across 11 African countries.

“The majority of cases are in Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ghana. Of the 12 deaths, six occurred in Nigeria, four in Ghana, and two in the Central African Republic,” she said.

“Although no single monkeypox vaccine has been administered to any high-risk group in any of the African countries reporting cases, WHO has provided 39,000 test kits to countries, enabling improved testing rates.”

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According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), as of August 14, there have been 220 cases of monkeypox in Nigeria since January 2022, with four deaths.

Ifedayo Adetifa, NCDC DG, had recently told TheCable that the agency is prioritising obtaining therapeutic options to offer those at high risk of severe disease, hospitalisation, and death from monkeypox.

He, however, added that the NCDC had reached out to WHO and relevant partners “to explore gaining access to vaccines”.

Meanwhile, the latest monkeypox situation report from WHO shows that from January 1 to September 4, 2022, a total of 52,996 laboratory-confirmed cases of monkeypox and 18 deaths have been reported from 102 countries in all six WHO regions.

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“As of 4 September, the ten countries that have reported the highest cumulative number of cases globally are the United States of America (19,351), Spain (6,645), Brazil (5,197), France (3,646), Germany (3,493), the United Kingdom (3,413), Peru (1,546), Canada (n = 1289), the Netherlands (n = 1,172), Portugal (871). Together, these countries account for 88.0% of the cases reported globally,” the report reads.

“The outbreak continues to affect primarily young men, with 98.2% of cases with available data being men with a median age of 36 years.”

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