Once considered a “forgotten tropical disease”, he said the WHO had studied monkeypox with very few resources.
However, once the northern countries began to be affected by the disease, “the world reacted”.
“The same goes for the Zika virus and we have to end this discrimination,” Dr. Fall said.
Public Health Emergency
On July 23, WHO declared the spread of the virus a public health emergency of international concern – the organization’s highest alert level.
In this way, WHO aims to strengthen coordination, cooperation of countries and global solidarity.
“The world must join in to protect these populations, regardless of their nationality, color or religion,” Dr. Fall said.
“I think that’s extremely important, and right now more than 70 countries are affected around the world, everyone is active.”
Resources for Africa
Until this year, the virus that causes smallpox in monkeys has rarely spread outside of Africa, where it is endemic.
But reports of a small number of cases in the UK in early May signaled that the outbreak had spread to Europe.
“It is important and what we have been doing to accelerate the monkeypox research and development program so that the hardest hit African countries can have the resources,” said Dr. Fall. to prevent and fight monkeypox”.
It’s time to invest globally
Although a vaccine against monkeypox was approved in 2019, availability is still limited at this time.
“We have had many cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Cameroon, and some sporadic cases in countries like Ghana, Benin, etc.,” Dr. Fall said. “I think the time has come for the world to invest so that these populations living in rural areas and in these forested areas can be protected.” According to Dr. Fall, “if we only treated what was happening in Europe and the Americas, we would only treat the symptoms of monkeypox, not the actual disease. It is important for the world to be mobilized to fight this disease.”