Since the 1st of January this year, several countries across the world have been affected by an unprecedented outbreak of monkeypox, leading to over 2,000 laboratory-confirmed and one death from the virus as of 15th June 2022.
While there is no unusual increase in the number of cases of transmission patterns of the virus reported in Nigeria, there has been a significant increase in infodemics around the Monkeypox outbreak and response efforts by health authorities, affecting Africa in general and Nigeria in particular.
Following this review, a virtual media dialogue was part of risk communication and infodemic management efforts by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners; to strengthen the monkey pox response in Nigeria while contributing to the global responses.
The NCDC virtual media dialogue was held on the 28th day of June 2022 in response to the false information spreading about the increasing number of Monkeypox diseases in the country.
In the media dialogue, it was reiterated that the monkey pox disease has a chance of becoming infodemic rather than a pandemic if the world keeps on with its unproductive approach.
In a bid to solve this, NCDC has come up with intervention schemes to avert such occurrence. Such interventions include:
- Commencement of Monkey pox Infosurveillance and response by Nigeria Infodemic Management Team (NIMT)
- Orientation of media stakeholders
- Promote equitable access to information and tools.
- Timely production and dissemination of high quality information.
- Baseline perception survey among the general population to inform interventions.
Al these are strategies to balance the urgent demands of the media to present reliable update.
It was also reiterated that although the Monkey pox disease has lasted for over 50 years in Nigeria, only 204 cases has been reported, 62 cases were confirmed and 1 death recorded between January 1st and June 26th 2022.
Key Take Away
- There is no documented evidence of sexual transmission in Nigeria.
- Genomic sequencing of all positive samples is ongoing.
- From these clinical manifestations have remained the same.
- Proper information dissemination is key is combating the spread of Monkey pox.
This NCDC media dialogue was handled by Dr. Lateefat Kikelomo Amao, Dr. ifedayo Adetifa –DG-NCDC, Chimbaru Alexander – DWR, and Dr Yahaya Disu.