Monkeypox Outbreak 2022 – Global 

Since early May 2022, cases of monkeypox have been reported from countries where the disease is not endemic, and continue to be reported in several endemic countries. Most confirmed cases with travel history reported travel to countries in Europe and North America, rather than West or Central Africa where the monkeypox virus is endemic. This is the first time that many monkeypox cases and clusters have been reported concurrently in non-endemic and endemic countries in widely disparate geographical areas. 

Most reported cases so far have been identified through sexual health or other health services in primary or secondary health-care facilities and have involved mainly, but not exclusively, men who have sex with men.

WHO is collaborating with health authorities to prevent further spread of the disease. We are issuing guidance to help countries on surveillance, laboratory work, clinical care, infection prevention and control, as well as risk communication and community engagement to inform communities at risk and the broader general public about monkeypox and how to keep safe. We are also working closely with countries in Africa, regional institutions, and technical and financial partners, to support efforts to bolster laboratory diagnosis, disease surveillance, readiness and response actions to prevent further infections.

Surveillance in emergencies

Public health surveillance is the continuous, systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of health-related data. 

Disease surveillance data:

  • serves as an early warning system for impending outbreaks that could become public health emergencies;
  • enables monitoring and evaluation of the impact of an intervention, helps track progress towards specified goals; and
  • monitors and clarifies the epidemiology of health problems, guiding priority-setting and planning and evaluation public health policy and strategies.

Humanitarian emergencies increase the risk of transmission of infectious diseases and other health conditions such as severe malnutrition. An effective disease surveillance system is essential to detecting disease outbreaks quickly before they spread, cost lives and become difficult to control. Effective surveillance can improve disease outbreak detection in emergency settings, such as in countries in conflict or following a natural disaster. 

Surveillance System of Attacks on Healthcare (SSA)

The SSA is a global standardized and systemic approach to collecting data of attacks on health care. This system utilizes the same methodology across countries to address the knowledge gap of the extent and nature of attacks on health care.

WHO Country Offices work closely with partners to ensure there is a wide and inclusive range of reporting contributors.

The SSA will allow for the production of regular reports with consolidated data, identify global and context-specific trends and patterns of violence and allow comparisons between regions and contexts.


In today’s globalized world, there are myriad opportunities for the rapid spread of diseases and other threats to health security. In the event of an emergency, public health emergency operation centres are a place for emergency management personnel to coordinate operational information and resources.

WHO’s Public Health Emergency Operations Centre Network (EOC-NET) promotes best practices and standards for emergency operation centres and builds Member States’ capacity to rapidly respond and detect to public health emergencies as mandated by the International Health Regulations.

WHO’s Strategic Health Operations Centre (SHOC) is the heart of this network. SHOC monitors global public health events around the clock and facilitates international collaboration during public health emergencies.Following the detection of a potential major public health event, SHOC provides the communications platform to obtain further information from the affected country and other authoritative sources. Once that information is received, SHOC uses emergency management tools to support risk assessments and any required WHO response. Beyond response operations, SHOC is involved in identifying and tracking resources and appraising public health threats.

WHO uses an Incident Management System (IMS) to organize and manage each emergency response. Every individual working in emergencies for WHO (including non-WHO staff who deploy as part of the response team) must be familiar with the IMS structure and roles.  

Source: WHO

Frebetha Atieku Adjoh

News Editor, Lover of Arts & Entertainment

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