WHO declares monkeypox as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern

WHO declares monkeypox as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern

WHO Representative in Timor-Leste, Arvin Mathur (Photo Tatoli/Francisco Sony)

DILI, 29 july 2022 (TATOLI) – The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared monkeypox a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

“With WHO declaring monkeypox as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), we have an unprecedented situation at hand with two such emergencies ongoing at the same time, the other one being COVID-19,” WHO Representative to Timor-Leste, Arvind Mathur said in a statement released on thursday (28/07).

WHO is pleased to note the preparedness and readiness actions taken by the Ministry of Health (MoH), especially after the declaration of Monkeypox as PHEIC which includes activation of Commission of Outbreak, preparation of Contingency Plan, Lab readiness, and risk communication.

Mathur said it’s important to note that surveillance, diagnosis, and risk reduction remain central to preventing transmission and stopping this outbreak while vaccines will be an important tool.

Over the past few months since the reporting of Monkey Pox, MoH with the support from WHO Timor-Leste has conducted six training sessions for staff at the points of entry like airport and land crossings, doctors, nurses, and midwives from HNGV and referral hospitals.

“We are pleased to inform that WHO has already made Monkeypox Test kits available at National Health Laboratory and ready to conduct testing,” he said. “We are continuing with orientation and training to update the knowledge of key staff members about monkeypox and to strengthen the overall surveillance in the country.”

Mathur emphasized that monkeypox spreads from person to person through close contact with someone who has monkeypox, including sexual contact.

“While the risk to the general population is low now, it is important for everyone to be aware of the nature of the infection, its symptoms, and the line of action when someone suspects monkeypox symptoms. For this, the WHO is supporting the dissemination of correct information on monkeypox and working closely with the Ministry of Health for the future course of action,” he said.


Journalist: Filomeno Martins 

Editor: Nelia Borges 


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