WHO’s worry

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that its emergency committee had determined that monkeypox should continue to be classified as a global health emergency, according to an AFP report. The WHO stated that it continues to meet the International Health Regulations (IHR) criteria for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). ‘The Emergency Committee acknowledged that some progress has been made in the global response to the multi-country outbreak of monkeypox since the last meeting, including the emerging information on the effectiveness of behavioural interventions and vaccines, said the WHO statement.

The statement came after the third meeting of the IHR Emergency Committee that was held on Thursday regarding the multi-country outbreak of monkeypox. The third meeting was reportedly convened via videoconference, wherein, 11 of the 15 members and six of the 9 advisors to the committee took part in the meeting. In his opening remarks, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus welcomed the committee, noting a promising decline in cases globally, although progress in the regions of the Americas and Africa is less certain, where cases are rising in some countries, and underreporting is likely in others.The WHO Secretariat updated the committee on the global epidemiological situation as well as on the rapidly evolving knowledge in understanding the clinical manifestation and evolution of the disease. Since the determination of the PHEIC on July 23, 2022, many more countries have promptly responded to the outbreak with a range of public health interventions and cases are declining globally, noted the Secretariat, adding “Nonetheless, the picture is mixed and, overall, the risk assessment conducted by the WHO Secretariat concludes that as of 18 October 2022 the public health risk remains moderate globally.’