Monkey Pox: FG Warns Against Stigmatization
The Federal Government has urged Nigerians to avoid stigmatising people affected by the monkey pox disease after confirming three cases of the disease in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state.
Prof. Isaac Adewole, the Minister of Health, told newsmen on Monday in Abuja that the federal government sent 21 samples to Dakar, Senegal, for laboratory analysis.
From the 19 results received, four cases from Lagos are negative, 12 cases from Bayelsa are also negative, while three from Bayelsa are confirmed cases.
“With these results from the WHO Regional Laboratory in Dakar, Senegal, three suspected monkey pox outbreaks in Yenagoa have been confirmed with laboratory evidence,” he said.
He gave the assurance that government would continue to investigate all the cases that fit the case definition.
Adewole said the strain of monkey pox in the country was not deadly.
The minister appealed to the public to avoid creating undue tension over the disease and desist from stigmatising the people affected by the disease.
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“I am worried with this type of attitude people who have it might think the next thing is death. So far no body died from the disease.
“We have lived with HIV; people affected by HIV are living a longer life, there are many infections such as hepatitis B and C and the people affected by the disease are living a longer life.
“We should not stigmatize this disease,” he said.
Dr Chike Ihekwazu, Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), also said monkey pox is largely self-limiting disease for which all suspected cases reported in the country are doing well.
Ihekwazu added that Nigeria have not recorded any death from the disease, stressing that even before confirmation of the case, necessary public health measures are in place; they will continue to be implemented.
He said that the ministry through the Nigeria center for disease control has established emergency operation center to coordinate the response across the states.