Africa has no vaccines for monkeypox and test kits are in short supply, the acting director of Africa’s top public health agency said on Thursday.
Monkeypox is a viral disease that causes flu-like symptoms and skin lesions. It is endemic in parts of Africa.
More than 40 countries where monkeypox is not endemic have reported outbreaks of the viral disease which spreads through close contact and was first found in monkeys.
“Both of these tools… are really required on the continent,” Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, from the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), told a news conference.
“Monkeypox is an emergency here on the continent and we are calling on all our friends and partners to join us in controlling this outbreak,” he said.
Ouma also said that at least nine different coronavirus vaccines are in development on the continent.
Monkeypox is not yet a global health emergency, the World Health Organization (WHO) ruled on Saturday, although WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was deeply concerned about the outbreak.