The European Health Report 2021 »
European Programme of Work »
“Since the current global outbreak of monkeypox was identified in May 2022, the WHO European Region has seen over 25 000 confirmed cases, highlighting the need to provide diagnostic support to Member States and territories in our region to monitor and stem the spread of the virus.
To help meet this need and to ensure their support is targeted, WHO/Europe identified 18 priority Member States and territories (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo*, Kyrgyzstan, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Türkiye, Ukraine and Uzbekistan) that either lacked diagnostic capacity, or the supplies needed to provide an adequate response to the outbreak.
WHO/Europe was then able to procure and deliver US$ 1.2m worth of supplies, helping strengthen the health systems of these countries and territories for dealing with monkeypox.
Thanks to a collaboration with German biotech company TIB Molbiol, 57 000 PCR tests have now been distributed, which will allow for up to 5000 samples to be tested for monkeypox in each of the priority countries/territories. The correct use of these will be supported through a new training programme being delivered both on-site and remotely.
Dr Aigul Djumakanova, Head of the Centre of Laboratory Investigations of the Department of State Sanitary and Epidemiological Surveillance, Ministry of Health, and member of the Coordinating Laboratory Council, Kyrgyzstan, said: “WHO’s rapid procurement and supply of monkeypox diagnostic reagents has been most impressive and, along with the comprehensive in-country training, WHO has truly supported us in setting up a robust monkeypox diagnostic system in our national laboratory”.
In addition to this general support, extra supplies have also been dispatched for when there is heightened local need, for example when there was the need to provide testing during this year’s EuroPride event in Belgrade, Serbia.
This story was amended on 15 November 2022 to make clear that the WHO European Region no longer has the majority of total confirmed monkeypox cases when compared to other regions in the world as an earlier version may have been misleading.