Ouma has previously said Africa should be first in line for monkeypox vaccines as it seeks to avoid a repeat of its battle to secure shots at the start of the coronavirus pandemic that left the continent far behind wealthier nations.
“Let us get attention focused on where we can really stop monkeypox at its source,” he said in an online briefing Thursday. Endemic countries in Africa are the “best place to start,” he said.
Africa has dealt with monkeypox since the 1970s, with little international attention. In May, Ogwell Ouma said there had been several waves of the illness in the past two years that had simply been contained. The disease has spread to about 16,000 people in more than 70 countries since cases were reported in countries including the UK, the US and Canada in May.
The Africa CDC is in talks with developers to get shots “as soon as possible” for both monkeypox and smallpox, Ouma said. Vaccines for the latter disease, which has been eradicated, can also be used against monkeypox.