By Sharon Atieno

With more than 35,000 cases reported and 12 deaths in 92 countries and territories, all countries have been urged to get ready for Monkeypox.

Speaking during a regular press briefing, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General, World Health Organization (WHO) said.

“The primary focus for all countries must be to ensure they are ready for monkeypox, and to stop transmission using effective public health tools, including enhanced disease surveillance, careful contact tracing, tailored risk communication and community engagement, and risk reduction measures,” said Ghebreyesus.

Monkeypox cases are increasing with almost 7,500 cases reported last week, a 20 per cent increase over the previous week, which was also 20 per cent more than the week before.

With most cases involving men who have sex with men, he noted that it is important for all countries to design and deliver services and information tailored to these communities that protect health, human rights and dignity.

With monkeypox vaccines being limited, Dr. Ghebreyesus pointed out the need for equitable access to avoid leaving poor countries behind as in the case of COVID-19 vaccines.

He also noted that COVID-19 deaths were on the rise and called for increased uptake of vaccination including booster doses.

Over the last four weeks, COVID-19 deaths have risen by 35%, with 15,000 lives lost in the past week alone.