The country is staring at a potentially ticking time bomb as the Ministry of Health falls short of preparedness, capacity and contingency measures to test and handle the possible eruption of Monkeypox disease that is gradually ravaging the globe The Informer has established.
Last week MOH’s Division of Disease Surveillance ferried suspected Monkeypox samples to Senegal for testing exposing the level of inadequate capacity and lack of readiness for the country to handle any eventuality.
“We have no materials and antigen reagents required to do testing.” A senior official at the Ministry revealed.
Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache has been on record saying the government has heightened surveillance at all entry points to prevent a Monkeypox outbreak.
However, there is no way to detect, test and confirm a case even if there happens to be one since MoH has to rely on foreign countries to confirm if the samples turn out to be positive or not.
Effectively, this sharply contradicts assertions by officials drawn from the Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe’s led ministry claiming that the country has robust surveillance systems, which were strengthened and successfully used during the Covid-19 pandemic.
An alert has since been sent to counties to be on the lookout for any possible signs of Monkeypox virus and report to the Division of Disease Surveillance and Response for action.
The Monkeypox virus was discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo for five decades ago.
According to medical experts, most people experience symptoms including fever, chills and fatigue, which can last between two and four weeks.
The virus is mainly transmitted when a person comes into contact with the pathogen from an animal, human, or contaminated material.
It enters the body through broken skin, even if the breakage is not visible to the naked eye.
Those seriously affected often develop rashes on their faces or hands that spread to everyone on the body.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), seven countries in Africa has reported 1,400 cases of Monkeypox (1392 suspected, 44 confirmed).
DRC has so far recorded 1,238 cases and 57 deaths since January.
Cameroon, Central African Republic, Liberia, Nigeria, the Republic of the Congo and Sierra Leone have also reported cases of the virus.