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NCDC raises alarm of monkeypox cases in Nigeria

Ifedayo Adetife, Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), says the centre has noticed an increase in the cases of monkeypox in the country.

He expressed fear that Nigeria might match or exceed the peak number of cases seen in 2017 when monkeypox re-emerged if the current trajectory continued or was sustained.

Speaking on monkeypox, Tuesday during a virtual media dialogue, he disclosed that the centre’s report indicated that there is one deaths, 62 confirmed cases and 204 suspected cases so far from the disease since the beginning of the year.

According to him, “Since January 1, several countries had been affected by an unprecedented outbreak of monkeypox, leading to over 3,000 laboratory-confirmed and one death from the virus as of June 22.”

He explained that the potential risk of discrimination and stigmatisation from this requires urgent social and behavioural change intervention, stressing that the prevailing media perception and misinformation on monkeypox had fuelled false narratives about the virus.

Walter Mulombo, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Director, stated that a new vaccine (MVA-BN) against smallpox and monkeypox had been approved, but lamented that it is not yet widely available outside national stockpiles.

The WHO Country Director, who was represented by the Deputy Representative of WHO Nigeria, Alexander Chimbaru, explained that the infodemics around monkeypox outbreak needed to be urgently managed to prevent further spread of false and misleading information in the country.

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