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Experts call for action as Monkeypox spreads to 15 states

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Medical experts have warned against complacency among Nigerians just as they called on the Federal Government to take urgent action in the fight against Monkeypox.

They made the call at a time the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reported that the disease has spread to 15 states in the country.

The experts, who spoke in separate interviews with our correspondent on Wednesday, said there was the need for greater surveillance and more awareness in the country to curtail the spread of the disease.

The latest Monkeypox situation report by the NCDC revealed that 36 cases had been confirmed in 15 states.

The states with confirmed cases, according to the centre, are Lagos (7), Adamawa (5), Delta (3), River (3), Cross River (2), FCT (2), Kano (2), Bayelsa (2), Edo (2), Imo (2), Plateau (2), Nasarawa (1), Niger (1), Oyo (1) and Ondo (1).

Speaking with The PUNCH, a Professor of Public Health, Tanimola Akande, said it was unfortunate that there wasn’t much attention on Monkeypox like COVID-19.

He said, “The situation is sad, it is a systemic issue. Except other forces from other countries spur us to action, we hardly take action, but it doesn’t have to be; we should be able to carry out awareness on our own.

“There are various bodies responsible for creating awareness at all levels; from the Federal Government to the local governments and the health departments, they should be involved in creating awareness among the people on the radio, television but once there is no provision of funds for such a thing, it will not be done and that is unfortunate.”

Also, a medical virologist and immunologist at the Adeleke University, Ede, Osun State, Dr. Oladipo Kolawole, said the government, through the NCDC, should set up an effective surveillance system to curtail the transmission of the virus.

He said, “The government needs to do more awareness on various news and social media outlets in the country. This will allow the general population to know how the Monkeypox virus is being transmitted such as from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding.

“The government through NCDC should set up an effective and proper surveillance system to help with the transmission of the virus. A task force should be set up at all tiers of the government to ensure that we stop the spread of the virus.”

According to the NCDC, Monkeypox is a rare viral zoonotic infectious disease transmitted from animals to humans that occur sporadically, primarily in remote villages of central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests.

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