On January 17, as part of the Mpox Threat Reduction Network and the United States government’s ongoing support for Nigeria’s Mpox response, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) kicked off a first-of-its-kind workshop to decrease the threat and spread of mpox in West and Central Africa.
The workshop, hosted in partnership with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, with support from the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency, aims to improve case recognition, build state and local surveillance and lab capacities, and establish a sustainable network of trained Mpox experts in the region.
Over three days, scientists with multidisciplinary backgrounds from Cameroon, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, and the United States will share their unique country experiences responding to Mpox while learning from the experiences of others. They will discuss challenges and opportunities for regional collaboration and research.
Opening the event, US CDC Country Director Mary Boyd emphasized that diseases know no borders, so preventing the spread of Mpox in West Africa and reducing the number of cases exported to other countries will take strong regional collaboration. She thanked the participants from around the region for their commitment and wished them a productive meeting, noting that she hoped it is the first of many collaborative events.
Mpox is a zoonotic disease that is endemic in Central and West Africa. Following almost 40 years without any reports of Mpox in Nigeria, the disease reemerged in 2017. Cases continue to be reported in the country and the number of international exportations is growing. US CDC provides support to the Government of Nigeria to help strengthen its surveillance and laboratory capacities to detect the disease and facilitate quicker responses to prevent its spread.