February 21, 2023

Nigeria records eight deaths from 789 cases of mpox

Nigeria records eight deaths from 789 cases of mpox

By Biodun Busari

The death toll recorded from mpox disease in Nigeria has risen to eight resulting from 789 confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

According to WHO situation report, Nigerian now, has the highest number of mpox cases and deaths in the African continent.

It also revealed that a total of 85,860 confirmed cases and 93 deaths have been recorded from 110 countries in all six WHO regions as of February 16.

The International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on the multi-country mpox outbreak was organised for the fourth time on February 9.

The WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, agreed with the advice of the committee that the event continues to establish a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

The Emergency Committee acknowledged the progress made globally and raised concerns over ongoing transmission in some countries, as well as possible inadequate detection and under-reporting in others, especially where there was animal-to-human transmission before.

The mpox African region report revealed that Benin Republic recorded three cases, Cameroon has 18 cases and three deaths; the Central African Republic reported 22 cases, Congo -five; the Democratic Republic of the Congo -370; Ghana – 121 and four deaths; Liberia -seven; Mozambique -pone and one death; and South Africa -five.

According to WHO, mpox continued to circulate in animal hosts with occasional spillover to humans, not only causing suffering in the local population but also enabling the exportation of the virus to other areas or countries.

It also stated that exportation from enzootic countries may occur through the international trade of susceptible animals or international travel of persons carrying the virus.

The UN agency advised countries to integrate mpox prevention, preparedness, and response within programmes and services for sexual health, HIV, and other sexually transmitted infections, and to continue to strengthen research through a One Health approach, in coordination with partner agencies.

Experts say intervention strategies to mitigate the risk of zoonotic spillover of mpox are needed to prevent future local and global outbreaks.