WHO has declared monkeypox a global health emergency

On July 23, the World Health Organization officially declared monkeypox a global health emergency.

The last time the WHO declared an outbreak a global health emergency was with COVID-19 on January 30, 2020. However, things look different with monkeypox.

“Since early May 2022, cases of monkeypox have been reported in countries where the disease is not endemic, and continue to be reported in several endemic countries,” said the The WHO said.

The emergence of the disease in many countries around the world has caused concern among health professionals. The WHO met last month to discuss whether or not the outbreak of monkeypox in several countries represents a public health emergency of international concern.

At that time, Dr. Tedros, Director General of the World Health Organization, declared that the committee “decided by consensus that the outbreak of monkeypox doesn’t represent a public health emergency of international concern. »

Well, that’s no longer the case.

At 10:16 a.m. EST Saturday, the WHO declared the monkeypox outbreak a global health emergency. The decision was made after the WHO considered five elements to decide whether an outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.

These criteria include information provided by countries regarding the spread of the disease, advice from the Emergency Committee, scientific principles, evidence and other relevant information, and the risk to human health, Dr Tedros said during the the conference. Live broadcast this morning.

So what is a global health emergency?

According to World Health OrganizationA public health emergency of international concern (USPPI) is defined as “an extraordinary event that is determined to pose a risk to the public health of other states through the international spread of disease and potentially requires a coordinated international response”.

A USPPI is declared when a situation becomes: serious, sudden, unusual or unexpected. In addition, a global health emergency is also declared when a disease has public health implications beyond the national border of the affected state; and may require immediate international action, says the WHO.

Despite declaring a global health emergency, Dr Tedros said the outbreak could be stopped with the right strategies in the right groups.

“At the moment, this is an epidemic that is concentrated among men who have sex with men, especially those who have multiple sex partners,” Dr Tedros said.

“It is therefore essential that all countries work closely with communities of men who have sex with men, to design and deliver effective information and services, and to adopt measures that protect both the health , human rights and dignity of affected communities… Stigma and discrimination can be as dangerous as any virus.”

The cover image of this article was used for illustrative purposes only.

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