Wed. Feb 1st, 2023

South Korea will donate 50,000 doses of the monkey pox, now known as mpox, vaccines to the African Union.

This will be the first batch of vaccines African countries will use to contain the outbreak.

Dr Ahmed Ogwell, the acting director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control, says priority will be given to health workers and communities living in areas that have the highest number of cases.

“Our criteria will look at countries that are reporting a lot of cases, deaths and whether they have the capacity to deliver the vaccines to where it is required,” Dr Ogwell told journalists in a virtual press briefing.

Out of the 55 African countries, 13 are currently dealing with an active outbreak.

A majority of the cases are from Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ghana.

The health body says it is concerned about the rapid rise in cases in the DR Congo. Fifty-one new cases and four deaths have been reported in the last seven days.

Mpox is endemic in parts of West and Central Africa, but it wasn’t until the disease caused unusual outbreaks in Europe and North America that public health officials thought of using vaccines.

So far, Africa has reported 1,047 new cases and 202 deaths.

By Joy

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