“Investigations are ongoing, but the sudden appearance monkeypox simultaneously in many countries suggests that an unnoticed transmission may have taken place for some time,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. said journalists in WHOheadquarters in Geneva.
For some time, an unnoticed transmission could have taken place – head of WHO
Since the majority of reported cases have been between male-to-male sex, these communities are working to educate their members about the risks and preventive measures that can be taken.
“But we all need to fight stigma diligently, which is not only wrong, but can prevent infected people from seeking medical care, making it harder to stop transmission,” the WHO chief warned, urging affected countries to expand surveillance to the wider community.
Anyone is at risk of becoming infected if they have close physical contact with a person with monkeypox..
Tedros noted that as the situation evolves, the WHO expects more cases to be found.
It is important to remember that in general Monkeypox symptoms go away on their ownbut in some cases it can be serious,” he added.
WHO continues to receive updates on the status of ongoing monkeypox outbreaks in African countries where the disease is endemic.
A senior WHO official outlined his priorities for providing accurate information to those most at risk; prevent further spread to high-risk individuals; protect frontline healthcare workers; and to advance “our understanding” of the disease.
At the same time, as reported COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to decline globally, Tedros warned that this could be the result of reduced testing in many countries.
But in several regions of the Americas, cases and deaths are on the rise, while deaths are on the rise in the Western Pacific region and Africa.
“Once again, the pandemic is not over. We continue to call on all countries to support testing and sequencing services to give us a clearer picture of where the virus is spreading and how it is changing,” the WHO chief said.
“We call on all countries to vaccinate all healthcare workers, the elderly and other at-risk groups.”
Care in Ukraine
As the war in Ukraine took a heavy toll on the country’s health care system, the WHO has increased its presence in the country and in states hosting displaced people as attacks on medical facilities continue to rise.
“To date, the WHO has confirmed 269 health attacks in Ukraine, resulting in 76 deaths and 59 injuries,” Tedros said.
“Health should never be the goal,” he added, again calling on Russia to end the war.
The thrilling effect of war
The Russian invasion has disrupted global food supplies and exacerbated the risk of world famine, he said.
As the Horn of Africa suffers from one of the worst droughts in recent history, the growing risk of hunger and malnutrition is seriously affecting an estimated 15 to 20 million people in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, as well as Djibouti, Eritrea, Uganda, South Sudan and Sudan.
The head of the WHO said that tens of thousands of families have been forced to leave their homes in search of food, water and pasture, leading to massive population displacement and a lack of safe drinking water, hygiene and sanitation, further increasing health risks.
“This is especially worrisome for an already under-immunized population with limited access to health services,” the WHO chief said.
At the same time, more than six million people remain under siege by Ethiopian and Eritrean forces in Tigray.
As the region is closed, food is not being delivered enough and basic services remain unavailable.
“WHO is doing everything it can to help, but the only solution to this inhumane situation – as in Ukraine – is peace“, he stressed.
Addressing the first in-person meeting of the World Health Assembly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which ended on Saturday, Tedros drew attention to the “landmark resolution to increase assessed contributions” to 50 percent of WHO’s core budget by the end of the decade, up from 16 percent today.
“This change will give WHO the flexibility and predictability to plan long-term programs in countries and to attract and retain the people needed to deliver those programs,” he said.
Other decisions of the Assembly strengthen WHO’s preparedness for and response to health emergencies.