The World Health Organization (WHO) on Saturday, July 23, declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.
Screengrab from Media briefing on monkeypox with Dr Tedros / Youtube
“We have an outbreak that has spread the world rapidly through new modes of transmission about which we understand too little, and which meets the criteria in the international health regulations. For all of these reasons, I have decided that the global monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated in a press briefing.
Photo courtesy of World Health Organization (WHO)
Tedrossaid that he considered the five elements in deciding whether an outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international concern after the committee was unable to reach a consensus.
The Director-General also said that based on WHO’s assessment, the risk of monkeypox is moderate globally except in the European region wherein the risk is high.
“There is also a risk of further international spread, although the risk of interference with international traffic remains low for the moment,” he added.
“Although, I am declaring a public health emergency of international concern, for the moment, this is an outbreak that’s concentrated among men who have sex with men, especially those who have multiple sexual partners, that means that this is an outbreak that can be stopped with the right strategies in the right groups. It’s therefore essential that all countries work closely with communities of men who have sex with men to design and deliver effective information and services, and to adopt measures that protect the health, human rights, and dignity of affected communities,” Tedros clarified.