THERE are indications that World Health Organisation (WHO) will declare a global emergency on monkeypox outbreak as its emergency committee convenes today.
Commending the global health watchdog for such emergency response, experts warn that WHO’s decision to act only after the disease spilled into the West could entrench the grotesque inequities that arose between rich and poor countries during the coronavirus pandemic.
They predicate their stance on the fact that declaring monkeypox to be a global emergency would mean the U.N. health agency considers the outbreak to be an “extraordinary event” and that the disease is at risk of spreading across even more borders. But experts say it would also give monkeypox the same distinction as the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing effort to eradicate polio, though many scientists doubt any such declaration would help to curb the epidemic, since the developed countries recording the most recent cases are already moving quickly to shut it down.
It will be recalled that only last week, WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described the recent monkeypox epidemic identified in more than 40 countries, mostly in Europe, as “unusual and concerning.”