The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Regional Office for Europe, on Wednesday, launched a new campaign called “Eliminating mpox” to highlight the potential risk of a significant monkeypox (mpox) outbreak.
Eliminating the mpox campaign means “placing affected populations at the heart of our response”.
Although mpox is no longer public health emergency of international concern, recent WHO Europe reports show an increase in cases.
It reported 17 new infections in eight European region countries in four weeks leading up to May 4.
The campaign is meant to preempt response to potential outbreak triggers.
Such triggers include large gatherings for spring and summer events, inadequate testing and vaccine access.
Influx of infected individuals from other regions is another possible trigger.
Key recommendations for health authorities include promoting accessible testing and vaccination in affected communities, with clear information on availability and eligibility.
Other measures include developing comprehensive vaccination plans, enhancing health worker skills to identify mpox signs.
Offering appropriate advice and care as well as declaring mpox a nationally notifiable disease to expedite detection and efficient outbreak response are other measures.
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Richard Peabody, high-threat pathogen team leader at WHO Europe, stressed the importance of these measures.
“Complacency is not an option.
“Our latest mpox policy brief provides a roadmap for countries to control and eliminate the disease in our region,” he said in a press release.
The campaign also aims to offer a platform for the most vulnerable to share their experiences and insights, said WHO Europe.
Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, expressed optimism about the campaign’s potential impact.
“Elimination is within our reach, but we must remember that mpox is still circulating.
“We must renew our collective efforts to stay on course towards eventual elimination,” Kluge said.
The initiative follows successful management of largest-ever mpox outbreak in the European region in 2022.
It provided valuable insights and refined control measures for the disease, according to WHO Europe. (Xinhua)
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