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|DPI- The Health Ministry is working with the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) to secure vaccines for the Monkeypox virus.
While there has been no reported case of the virus in Guyana, the Government has adopted this proactive measure as the number of cases is rising globally
“The vaccines are for people who have been exposed, so since we haven’t had a case we have ordered minimum quantity, just to keep it as a prophylaxis for the person who might be exposed…because we don’t want to over order too and then we have vaccines that we will never use, so we have to keep that balance in mind”, Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony.
Dr. Anthony noted that though Guyana is seeking a ‘relatively small amount’ of vaccines it is hard to come by, especially for small, less developed countries.
“We have put in the order with PAHO, PAHO is in the process of negotiating, to see whether they will be able to procure these vaccines, the number of vaccines we are looking for is relatively small and therefore, to source it directly it would be challenging, and we also have to understand that there is a global shortage of these vaccines, there is one company in the world that is making them,” Dr. Anthony said on Monday.
He explained that the developed countries have bought most of the current stock, which makes it challenging for individual countries to access the vaccines.
However, through PAHO, the process could be easier as it will group countries and make representation to the manufacturer to be able to access the vaccines.
“While the supplies are limited, we see the cases are going up because we now have monkeypox in about 98 different countries and it has surpassed more than 35 thousand cases globally, the US having more than 10 thousand cases so it’s challenging,” Dr. Anthony started.
Brazil, Guyana’s southern neighbour, has recorded 44 new cases of Monkeypox, over the last 24 hours. It currently has a case count of 2,393 cases, and about 3,400 suspected cases.
Meanwhile, Guyana will continue monitoring the situation. A response team has been set up that can verify suspected cases and take necessary action.
“We have trained our staff to do laboratory detection, we have had seminars with our doctors, we have sent out guidelines, we have developed guidelines, what constitutes a case how to recognise a case, that has gone out to our medical professionals and so you know, we are in a state of preparedness and if a case comes to Guyana, hopefully, our physicians would be able to detect it and we would take the relevant series of steps,” Minister added.