By Izunna Okafor, Awka
Anambra State has recorded one positive case of monkeypox out of few tested samples.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Afam Obidike announced this in Awka, while briefing newsmen on the outbreak of the disease in the state.
According to him, the tested samples were those of the suspected cases of the monkeypox disease recently reported in three different locations across the state, which include Anambra East Local Government Area, Onitsha, and Oyi Local Government Areas, out of which that of Anambra East Local Government Area tested positive.
In his word, “The case is currently at the isolation centre of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, where he is receiving treatment and recovering.
“In light of the above, Governor Charles Soludo immediately declared the incident an outbreak, and an emergency preparedness and response committee meeting was immediately convened on Wednesday.
“The meeting was attended by relevant stakeholders, including World Health Organisation team and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). They are providing necessary assistance to the state
“Planning for immediate response to the outbreak and surveillance, Laboratory, Case management, Risk Communication and Community Engagement, Infection Prevention and Control and Safe Burial pillars, were activated.”
While advising the residents not to panic, but to report to the hospital for proper examination whenever they notice any symptoms of the disease, such as rashes on the skin; the Commissioner also revealed that the state government had commenced the training of health personnel and response officers on enhanced active case search, sample collections and Monkeypox management, while sensitisation and public awareness had also been intensified.
He said: “Once it is established at the hospital, the patient will be taken to our Isolation centres for treatment. We have activated all our Isolation centres in the state.
“We urge residents to remain calm and stay safe as we mitigate this outbreak of Monkeypox in the state. We shall overcome again.”
Contributing, the Anambra state Coordinator, WHO, Dr Adamu Abdulnasir said the organisation would support the state in terms of outbreak response and surveillance and capacity building.
He said: “Since we heard about the two suspected cases, WHO has supported in the areas of sample collection and taking the sample to the lab. When the results came out, we carried out contact tracing as well as case and risks management.
“In Nigeria so far, we have recorded 41 cases of Monkeypox with one death. The government is taking proactive measure to bring this outbreak to a stop and sensitise people on how to prevent and protect themselves.”
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus, which is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox, and with similar but milder symptoms.