Regional high-level meeting on monkeypox opens in DR Congo

By Shi Yu
  • World
  • Friday, 12 Apr 2024

KINSHASA, April 11 (Xinhua) -- A high-level emergency regional meeting on monkeypox in Africa opened Thursday in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

This meeting, which will be held from Thursday to Saturday, gathered 12 health ministers of the African region, aiming to develop common strategies to prevent and intervene effectively in the face of monkeypox in Africa.

"We must prevent the DRC from becoming the source of cross-border transmission, and our partnership must prioritize the health of those affected," said Jean Kaseya, the director general of the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

"Over the years, monkeypox has become a real public health problem for our communities in the DRC, a regional threat and ultimately a global problem. We must now mobilize to resolve this crisis," said Roger Kamba, DRC minister of Public Health, Hygiene and Prevention.

According to Boureima Hama Sambo, the representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the DRC, more than 4,500 cases have been reported in the DRC since the start of 2024, including around 300 deaths.

Monkeypox, first detected in laboratory monkeys in 1958, is assumed to be transmitted from wild animals such as rodents to people, or from human to human. Multiple clusters of the monkeypox virus have been reported within the past few weeks in several European countries and North America, which are regions where the virus is not normally found.

According to WHO, endemic monkeypox disease is normally geographically limited to West and Central Africa. The identification of confirmed and suspected cases of monkeypox without any travel history to an endemic area in multiple countries is atypical.

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