The World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative in Nigeria, Dr Walter Mulombo, has urged journalists to address misconceptions about Monkeypox disease which has continued to fuel false narratives about Nigeria globally.
Mulombo said this on Tuesday at a virtual media dialogue on the infection.
“What is important is to avert any potential inequitable access to vaccines experienced by African countries including Nigeria in the early stages of a pandemic,” he said.
Mulombo, who was represented by the Deputy Country Rep- Dr Alexander Chimbaru said that the rumours and misinformation would cause more harm and loss of lives than the monkeypox disease itself.
“There’s need for us all to have one coordinated response to monkeypox locally and globally to avoid it from becoming another pandemic. Which by implication, means equitable access to essential tools, resources and information exchange.
“Therefore, what is extremely important now with monkeypox is to avert any potential for a repeat of the inequitable access to COVID-19 vaccines experienced by African countries, including Nigeria, early in the pandemic.
“There has not been any use of smallpox vaccines for monkeypox outbreaks in Africa. Since the eradication of smallpox, small quantities of smallpox vaccines have been kept in a few national stockpiles.
“They are very limited and not in use for vaccination,” he said.
He said that a new vaccine (MVA-BN) against smallpox and monkeypox has been approved but is not yet widely available outside national stockpiles.
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