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ECOWAS calls for vigilance as cases of Monkey Pox rises

The President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, Dr. Jean-Claude Brou, has called for vigilance as cases of Monkey Pox disease increase across the region.

He gave the charge while presenting the commission’s report on the implementation of the Community Work Programme at this year’s First Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament, in Abuja.

As at the time of the report, 36 confirmed cases have been recorded in some countries of the regional body.

According to Dr. Brou, the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) is monitoring the situation to prevent a pandemic.

“We have 36 confirmed cases of monkey pox in some member states (I will not mention their names), there are some suspected cases, and two deaths have occurred already.

Unlike COVID-19, this disease is contracted by close contact with an infected person. “

Dr. Brou who expressed satisfaction at the reduction in COVID-19 cases globally, said that the lessons learnt from the COVID-19 Pandemic would help in curbing the spread of the monkey pox.

“Compared to December 2021, the numbers have gone down; we have a very significant reduction in the numbers of confirmed cases. This is encouraging but let us remains vigilant.”

He said so far, 17.2 % of the population in the region has been vaccinated, stressing that over 103 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been administered  as at June this year compared to 23.7 million doses that was administered as at October last year.

Dr Brou said the lessons of COVID-19 were hinged on the need to strengthen the health system in the region and engage in research.

On the lunch of the “Eco” single currency, the President of the ECOWAS Commission said the community has resumed convergence for its launch in 2027.

He explained that the launch was delayed as a result of  COVID-19 Pandemic.

 “And so, 2027 we go back to the currency. The process of the performance criteria is always prioritised if we want to be in a very favorable condition to introduce the single currency.

“Because you can introduce the currency but what is required is that it should be of quality. So that is the main objective, to ensure that the convergence criteria are being followed. “

Since the concept of a single currency was first raised  in 2003, its introduction,  has been delayed multiple times : in 2005, 2010, 2014 and the last 2020.

Reporting by Idara Ukpanyang, editing by Daniel Adejo