Political will, commitment and health measures needed to stop spread of monkeypox: Ghebreyesus

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World Health Organisation (WHO) Director General, Tedros Ghebreyesus says political will, commitment and the implementation of public health measures are needed to stop the spread of monkeypox globally.

Addressing the media briefing in Geneva, Tedros said WHO member states made a historic decision to negotiate a new international accord on pandemic preparedness and response.

Tedros Ghebreyesus says now countries are coming together to agree on a common approach to the common threat of epidemics and pandemics.

“WHO continues to recommend that all countries persist with a tailored combination of public health measures, testing, research and targeted vaccination, where vaccines are available. Community engagement is vital. Last week, WHO held a consultation with community leaders from all over the world to listen to their views and concerns, and to emphasise the importance of responding to monkeypox using existing services and infrastructure, including those for HIV and sexual health,” says Ghebreyesus.

Tedros has also expressed concerns about the situation in Somalia and called on the global community to offer assistance.

“Parts of Somalia are projected to fall into famine in the very near future unless there is an urgent scale-up in humanitarian assistance. Millions more people in other parts of the country are facing extreme hunger, and it is likely that many people have already starved to death. Somalia and its neighbours in the Greater Horn of Africa — as well as the countries of the Sahel region — need the world’s help, and they need it now,” Ghebreyesus adds.

He says WHO will also continue to assist people of Pakistan following heavy floods.

“Almost 1500 health facilities have been affected by flooding. There are limited stocks of emergency medicines and other health supplies. WHO has delivered medicines, water purification kits, tents and other supplies, and together with our partners we have set up more than 4500 medical camps to provide essential health services,” Ghebreyesus explains.

Tedros has also urged countries to continue with their efforts to stop the spread of pandemics such as Covid-19 and monkeypox.