Guyana working with Int’l Community to tackle monkey pox – Min Anthony

as disease declared a ‘public health emergency’

Guyana is working with the international community using a coordinated approach to tackle the infectious monkey pox disease in light of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recent announcement that it is now considered a global ‘public health emergency’.  

Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony said that more effort is needed to fight the disease as he reflected on the monkey pox dilemma.

“I think once the WHO has declared a public health emergency then that helps to galvanise the international community to have a coordinated approach on how they tackle the particular disease. In this case there is need for a more coordinated international response to monkey pox,” said Dr Anthony, during Monday’s COVID-19 update.

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony

Further, the minister noted that Guyana has no cases of the viral disease.

W.H.O, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on July 23, 2022, overruled a panel of advisers. The advisers could not come to a consensus declaring monkey pox a ‘public health emergency of international concern’ as the disease spreads rapidly in just a few weeks.

During the W.H.O panel discussion an estimate of 16,000 cases in 75 countries were recorded.

A coordinated response by the international community will see member countries working together and investing resources to contain the outbreak.

Someone diagnosed with Monkey Pox

Meanwhile, the government are taking the necessary steps to prepare for the disease.

To this end, the government said the vaccines used for small pox has shown promising results, and will be used to immunise persons against monkeypox.

Since the monkey pox and small pox are a part of the same family of variola viruses.

In addition, the ministry recently established a steering committee in an effort to prepare for the monkeypox virus.

The committee sought guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) to establish local guidelines.

A document is in the works to define what monkeypox is, what are the clinical signs and symptoms, and how to conduct testing and diagnose the disease. A technical incident team was also established to determine when a person is infected with the disease. This consists of infectious diseases specialists and dermatologists, along with public health and laboratory officials.