The Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has raised the alarm over the outbreak of monkeypox in Nigeria, calling on the Federal Government and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to as a matter of urgency take the bull by the horn and do the needful for adequate control and termination of the deadly virus.
This was just as the body called on the federal government “to develop and deploy relevant protocols across our land, sea and air borders with a view to containing transmission of the virus.”
Speaking with pressmen on Friday at the Kano CITAD office, the CITAD Coordinator of Public Education on COVID-19 vaccine, Ibrahim Hamza, disclosed that already, over 21 people have been infected while one death has been recorded as a result of Monkeypox.
He recalled that recently monkeypox virus has been detected in some West and Central African countries igniting an emergency crisis in public health. Health authorities have been up and doing in those countries trying to contain the spread of the virus.
So far deaths have been recorded as measures to address the killer virus are being taken to put a stop to the new surge.
According to him, in Nigeria, the NCDC has confirmed recording cases of the monkeypox in eight states including the FCT.
The states are Adamawa with five cases, Lagos with four, Bayelsa with two, Delta with two, Cross River with two, FCT with two, Kano with two, Imo with two and Rivers with one.
According to NCDC, of the 21 cases, death was reported in a 40-year-old patient who had underlying co-morbidity and was on immunosuppressive medications.
He further disclosed that “the detection of the virus ought to be an alarm for particularly the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and we want to at this point strongly call on the Centre to deploy active observatory mechanism across the federation with a view containing the further spread of the virus.
He however n noted that “The experience brought by the outbreak of COVID19 pandemic should not be forgotten, as such case confirmation of monkeypox in the country should be treated with the public health urgency and expertise it requires to be able to contain it.
“In doing so we recommend that NCDC review its National Monkeypox Public Health Response Guidelines of 2019 to reflect deepening synergy with state governments in responding to suspected cases for proper detection, reporting and communication for quick actions.
“We equally wish to urge NCDC to collaborate with state governments to devise means of educating the public on symptoms of the virus and measures to take when they notice people or animals around them with symptoms of the virus.
“The public enlightenment and awareness on the virus should involve the use of indigenous languages and English to be able to appeal to all Nigerians. We again want the public to stay vigilant and support the initiatives that will be put in place to ensure public safety.
“We also call on the NCDC to step up the discharge of its mandate of monitoring, detection, confirmation and other roles regarding the virus.
“We want to end by calling on the federal government to develop and deploy relevant protocols across our land, sea and air borders with a view to containing transmission of the virus.”