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One dies as Nigeria records 41 cases of monkeypox

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has stated that 41 confirmed cases of the Monkeypox disease have been recorded since the beginning of the year.

It pointed out that as of June 19, among the 41 cases reported, there has been no evidence of any new or unusual transmission of the virus such as spreading among the men who have sex with men group or changes in its clinical manifestation documented in Nigeria including symptoms, profile and virulence as compared to other countries in the global north reporting cases.

The Director-General of NCDC, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, who made this known during the bi-weekly briefing on COVID-19 and other health-related issues in Abuja, said globally, between the 1st of January to the 15th of June 2022, a cumulative total of 2,103 laboratory-confirmed cases, one probable case, and one death was reported to WHO from 42 countries in five WHO Regions.

“In Nigeria, as of the 19th of June 2022, 41 confirmed Monkeypox cases and one death have been reported. Unfortunately, just like the COVID-19 pandemic, we observe a repeating pattern of the media and the public magnifying this disease endemic to Nigeria due to the increasing number of reported cases worldwide.

“The NCDC has been part of many conversations in recent weeks on monkeypox and is pushing for the destigmatization of the disease and renaming. Global reports report the disease in men aged 0 – 65 with a median age of 37; most self-identify as men who have sex with men.

“Our work continues as we encourage increased state surveillance nationwide and ensure that this focus on monkeypox enables the appropriate prioritization of this disease which has quietly plagued people over the years.

“The NCDC continues to lead the response through the Monkeypox Emergency Operations Centre, which was activated on the 25th of May 2022 at a level 2 response. We have sustained and intensified risk communication and community mobilisation activities for monkeypox.”

On the COVID-19 pandemic, Adetifa said NCDC continues to strengthen diagnostic capacity by adding new laboratories to the COVID-19 network, and urged the government and Nigerians not to drop the ball on our preventive and response activities to the COVID-19 virus.

On COVID-19 vaccination, the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, who was represented by Dr Abdullahi Garba, disclosed that as of June 19, 2022, over 21.2 million eligible Nigerians have been fully vaccinated, while over 28.4 Nigerians are partially vaccinated.

He said: “As of 10 pm yesterday, the 19th of June 2022, of the 111,776,503 eligible Nigerian residents target for the entire vaccination cycle, a total of 21,236,404 people were fully vaccinated with a different mix of COVID 19 vaccines while 28,426,564 people were partially vaccinated, indicating 19.05 percent and 25.4 percent respectively.

“From the above statistics, it is clear that the journey is still far to the destination, and more aggressive actions need to be taken to fast track the process to achieve herd immunity against COVID 19 infection in Nigeria.”