By Asmau Ahmad
Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) on Friday disclosed that 12 African countries have so far reported 1,782 cases of monkeypox.
Acting Director of Africa CDC, Ahmed Ogwell during a weekly briefing said out of the 1,782 cases of monkeypox that had been reported in Africa, some 1,678 of them were suspected cases while 104 were confirmed cases.
He said the cases had been reported in both monkeypox, endemic and non-endemic countries highlighting that Benin, Morocco and South Africa were the non-endemic African Union (AU) members reporting confirmed cases of the disease.
“Unfortunately, 73 deaths have been reported in the continent as a result of the monkeypox outbreak, bringing the case fatality rate of the disease to 4.1 per cent,” Ogwell said.
The acting director said the Africa CDC was offering training to 20 health experts drawn from different parts of the continent in Nigeria to help them build the capacity of making a laboratory diagnosis for monkeypox in their respective countries.
He indicated that clinical laboratory confirmation for the disease had been slow across the continent adding that “the training is very important because it enhances the capacity of our member states to confirm suspected cases.’’
According to the acting director, the Africa CDC’s Institute for Pathogen Genomics is also working on sequencing samples of monkeypox so that it will be able to identify and document any variant that could occur in any AU member.
“We will continue to sequence samples of monkeypox just as we did for COVID-19 to ensure that we understand and know the kind of pathogen that we are dealing with in the continent,” he added.
However, in a recent report, WHO said Ethiopia, Guinea, Liberia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Uganda had reported suspected cases of mokeypox and they had no record of previous incidence.