By Spy Uganda
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday donated 2,400 monkeypox test kits to Uganda to help with the African country’s response to the infectious disease.
WHO Representative to Uganda Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam handed over the kits to Ugandan Minister of Health Ruth Aceng, saying that the WHO is committed to providing assistance to strengthen Uganda’s testing capacity.
Aceng expressed gratitude for the donation, noting that Uganda has so far carried out 70 tests, which all turned out negative.
The WHO declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on July 23.
Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal.
Monkeypox was discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research. Despite being named “monkeypox,” the source of the disease remains unknown. However, African rodents and non-human primates (like monkeys) might harbor the virus and infect people.
The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970. Prior to the 2022 outbreak, monkeypox had been reported in people in several central and western African countries.
Previously, almost all monkeypox cases in people outside of Africa were linked to international travel to countries where the disease commonly occurs or through imported animals. These cases occurred on multiple continents.