The World Health Organisation (WHO) says monkeypox is no longer a public health emergency.
Recall that in July 2022, the health body declared the disease a public health emergency of international concern as the virus spread rapidly, .
Since the outbreak, more than 87,000 cases and 140 deaths have been reported from 111 countries.
Speaking at a media briefing on Thursday, Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, said the health body has been encouraged by the rapid response of countries.
He said the organisation is now seeing steady progress in controlling the outbreak with almost 90 percent fewer cases reported in the past three months compared with the previous three months.
“In particular, the work of community organizations, together with public health authorities, has been critical for informing people of the risks of mpox, encouraging and supporting behaviour change, and advocating for access to tests, vaccines and treatments to be accessible to those most in need,” he said.
“Pharmaceutical companies and regulatory agencies have also played an important role in helping to expand access to these countermeasures.
“Yesterday, the emergency committee for mpox met and recommended to me that the multi-country outbreak of mpox no longer represents a public health emergency of international concern.
“I have accepted that advice, and am pleased to declare that mpox is no longer a global health emergency.”
The director general, however, said the declaration does not mean the work is over since mpox continues to pose significant public health challenges.
“While we welcome the downward trend of mpox cases globally, the virus continues to affect communities in all regions, including in Africa, where transmission is still not well understood,” he said
“Travel-related cases in all regions highlight the continued threat. There is a particular risk for people living with untreated HIV infection.
“It remains important for countries to maintain their testing capacities and to continue their efforts, assess their risk, quantify their needs to respond, and act promptly when needed.”
Days ago, the WHO also declared an end to COVID-19 as a global health emergency.