Korea government set to donate first batch of Mpox vaccine to Africa

AFRICA – The government of the Republic of Korea, through Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), is set to donate the first batch of the Mpox vaccine to Africa through the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

The donation by KDCA is a culmination of the collaboration and cooperative agreement signed in April 2022 through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Africa CDC and KDCA.

The MoU established a joint action plan where the two organizations agreed to facilitate cooperation and collaboration and to establish arrangements in public health activities necessary to ensure effective cooperation between the parties in areas of mutual interest.

The MoU further aims to expand and deepen technical collaboration to support global health security and strengthen disease prevention and control in Africa.

“I welcome the collaboration between the Republic of Korea and Africa CDC which has resulted in this donation. We appreciate this gesture and assure that these Mpox vaccines will be prioritised in the most affected African Union Member States,” the Acting Director of Africa CDC said.

Mpox has been endemic for decades in some African countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global Mpox outbreak a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) in July 2022.

While the decision sparked a more coordinated international response, Africa has yet to receive vaccines to stem the spread of the disease, which remains a serious public health threat.

African countries remain in the same situation as during the COVID-19 vaccine deployment. Wealthier nations where Mpox has recently been identified have bought the available vaccines leaving African countries again at the back of the queue for vaccines, tests, and treatment.

The donation was announced during a bilateral meeting between the Acting Director General of Africa CDC, Dr Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, and KDCA Commissioner PECK Kyong Ran on the margins of the 7th Global Health Security Agenda Ministerial Meeting held in the Republic of Korea in Seoul from 28-30 November 2022.

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