The Nigeria centre for Disease Control – (NCDC) has revealed the absence of monkey pox vaccine in the country.
The agency stated this in response to concern that the ongoing monkeypox pandemic might become more fatal, as vaccines, treatment and test are unavailable in much of the world, especially Africa.
A report published, last week by the New York Times showed that African countries don’t have monkeypox vaccines, treatments and test.
But on Sunday, September 18th, 2022, the Director General, NCDC, Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, said:” The NCDC has testing and genomic sequencing capacity for monkeypox at our National Reference Laboratory (NRL), Abuja. Monkeypox diagnostic capacity is also being rolled out at Central Public Health Laboratory, Lagos, a campus of the NRL, as a first step to increasing access to testing, given a large number of cases in 2022.
Monkeypox is a self-limiting disease, which has been primarily managed in Nigeria through supportive treatment; meaning the symptoms are treated in the patients. We have identified a few patients group at very high risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death. As a result, NCDC is looking into procuring the only medication licensed for monkeypox treatment, Tecovirimat (TPOXX), for high-risk groups (immunosuppressed-patients)”.
“There are currently no vaccines available in the country. But official request have been made to the World Health Organization (WHO)and the United States for available vaccines (second or third generation )”.
On implications of the absence of vaccines and treatment for monkeypox in Nigeria and indeed Africa, Adetifa said NCDC’s priority is to procure a therapeutic option to offer those at high risk of severe symptoms, hospitalization, and death, given its local epidemiology and experience.