Official sources (press releases, databases, BOE)
Electron micrograph credit: Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of America.
On Saturday July 23, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the international epidemic of monkeypox nail public health emergency of international concern (ESPII or PHEIC, for its acronym in English).
Director of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, made the announcement during a press conference after the second meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee. In the first of them, on June 23, it was decided that the smallpox situation did not yet involve a USPPI. We tell you what exactly this statement is, why it was made now and what it means.
What is a Public Health Emergency of International Concern
The International Health Regulations (IHR) is a binding legal document for the 196 Member States of the WHO, the latest edition of which dates from 2005. The purpose of this document is, according to explains the Ministry of Health of Spain“to assist the international community in preventing, protecting against and controlling the international spread of disease, and to provide a proportionate and limited public health response to public health risks, while avoiding, at the same time, any necessary interference with international traffic and commerce.
Article 1 of this official document defines the term public health emergency of international concernl: “An extraordinary event that has been determined to be (i) serious, sudden, unusual or unexpected (ii) constitutes a risk to the public health of other States due to the international spread of a disease and (iii) may require a coordinated international response”.
Thus, WHO Member States are required by Articles 6 and 7 of the Regulations to notify all events and situations that may constitute a USPPI.
To enforce this regulation, WHO has a RSI Specific Emergency Committee. The health organization explains on its website that this committee is made up of “international experts who advise the General Management of the WHO within the framework of a USPPI”. This committee offers its assessment of whether an event is a PHEIC, which temporary recommendations must be done by a country or countries and at the end of a USPPI. WHO senior management has the final say and decides whether or not to declare a public health emergency.
In this article from Maldita.es we’re counting down when COVID-19 is considered an international public health emergency January 30, 2020. we also remembered other international public health declarationssuch as the 2009 H1N1 flu, the resurgence of polio in 2014, the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, the Zika epidemic in 2016 and the Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2019.
Why is the monkeypox outbreak considered a USPPI?
in his statementThe WHO director explains that the RSI takes into account five criteria for declaring a USPPI and evaluates each of them according to the current situation of monkeypox:
- The information offered by the countries affected by the epidemic, “which in this case shows that the virus has spread rapidly in many countries where no case has ever been recorded”.
- The bone three criteria of the official definition of an ESPIII, “which have been fulfilled”
- The tips of the Emergency Committee, which on this occasion “did not reach a consensus”
- The scientific evidence and relevant information“which for the moment is insufficient and with many unknowns”
- The risk for human health, international spread and the opportunity to work for the r
On this occasion, the emergency committee failed to reach a consensus on whether or not to declare the monkeypox PHEIII outbreak. In the summary of this second meeting need a point of view A favor there versus of this declaration, whereas at the first meeting, an agreement was reached that the smallpox situation was not yet a PHEIII.
Despite the lack of consensus within the committee, the Director General of the WHO decided to declare the outbreak of this smallpox a PHEIII. Furthermore, he explained that the risk of monkeypox is “moderate” globally and in all WHO regions except the European region, where they believe it is “high”.
At the time a PHEIII is declared, the General Management of the WHO communicates temporary recommendations. These “expire” after three months since its communication, the WHO will therefore have to reconvene a meeting of the IHR Emergency Committee within 90 days to assess the epidemiological situation of the epidemic.
What interim recommendations has the WHO issued on monkeypox
On this occasion, the International Health Organization formulated its recommendations according to the situation monkeypox epidemiologytheir previous outbreaksHow did he transmitted historically the disease and its aptitude produce vaccines and treatments.
A) Yes, there is a long list of detailed recommendations based on four groups of countries. These recommendations have a duration of three months which could be extended if new meetings of the IHR Emergency Committee are convened.
- Group 1, countries without a history of monkeypox in humans or having not detected a case for more than 21 days. For example: Uruguay.
- Group 2, countries with recently imported cases of monkeypox in humans and/or with human-to-human transmission, including in key population groups and communities at high risk of exposure. For example: United Kingdom.
- Group 3: countries with zoonotic transmission of monkeypox and where the presence of this virus has been documented in all animal species. For example: Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- Group 4: Countries with the capacity to manufacture medical countermeasures such as vaccines or treatments. For example: Japan.
Some of these recommendations are aimed at men who have sex with menthe population most affected by these monkeypox outbreaks, especially those with multiple sexual partners.
Thus, the WHO calls on public health organizations to raise awareness on the routes of transmission and prevention and to make efforts in terms of risk communication and support to communities of groups who are also at risk of transmission – such as professionals. (the)s of sex and trans people.
Finally, they call for action to be taken to protect the health, human rights and dignity of affected communities. For it, call to collaborate with communities that have experience of working with HIVknowledgeable about addressing stigma and discrimination.