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Sexually Transmitted Mpox Outbreak In Congo: A Hidden Crisis Fueled By Discrimination



Sexually Transmitted Mpox Outbreak In Congo: A Hidden Crisis Fueled By Discrimination

(CTN News) – The Democratic Republic of Congo is currently experiencing its most significant outbreak of mpox, formerly known as monkeypox, with a concerning change in its transmission method.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the initial cases of sexually transmitted Mpox were identified in a Belgian man who engaged in sexual activities with other men while visiting Kinshasa. Subsequent infections were connected to sexual contact with this individual, highlighting a notable shift in the virus’s transmission pattern.

The Outbreak is exacerbated by Discrimination.

The severity of the outbreak is exacerbated by widespread discrimination and the criminalization of homosexuality in numerous regions of Africa, specifically targeting gay and bisexual men.

This discrimination poses a challenge to disease control efforts as these communities are less inclined to report symptoms. Consequently, the virus has managed to thrive in secrecy, impeding health authorities’ ability to effectively monitor and estimate the number of cases resulting from sexual transmission.

Moreover, the lack of awareness among healthcare professionals in Congo regarding the potential for sexual transmission of mpox intensifies the crisis even further.

Obstacles and Worries

Congo is facing obstacles in its efforts to obtain a Japanese mpox vaccine due to regulatory challenges. The supply of vaccines worldwide is restricted, with only one vaccine, produced by Bavarian Nordic, being authorized for mpox.

Specialists contend that African governments might prioritize other matters over acquiring vaccines, proposing that enhanced monitoring, laboratory networks, and improved access to diagnostic resources could prove more advantageous.

If substantial measures are not taken to tackle the outbreak, there is a mounting apprehension that mpox could persistently spread, potentially resulting in global emergencies reminiscent of the initial HIV pandemic.


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