Monday, July 22, 2024

WHO to rename Monkeypox to remove African stigma

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Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey is an experienced African journalist who has worked with top media brands in Ghana where he is based.

The World Health Organization is working with experts to come up with a new name for Monkeypox.

It comes after more than 30 scientists wrote last week about the “urgent need for a non-discriminatory and non-stigmatising” name for the virus and the disease it causes.

According to the effects, the continuous reference to the virus as African is both inaccurate and discriminatory.

Some 1,600 cases of the disease have been recorded globally in recent weeks.

Continued reference to the virus as African is both inaccurate and discriminatory, they said.

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While 72 deaths have been reported in countries where Monkeypox was already endemic, none have been seen in the newly affected 32 countries, such as the UK.

At the latest count, as of 12 June, there were 452 confirmed cases in England, 12 in Scotland, 2 in Northern Ireland and 4 in Wales.

The World Health Organization says it will hold an emergency meeting next week to determine whether to classify the outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern – the highest alarm the UN agency can sound.

In the past the only diseases which have received such classification are swine flu, polio, Ebola, Zika and Covid.

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “The outbreak of Monkeypox is unusual and concerning.

“For that reason I have decided to convene the Emergency Committee under the international health regulations next week, to assess whether this outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern.”


Africa records 1,400 cases of monkeypox



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