DURBAN - The IFP in the KZN Legislature has called upon the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Health, Nomagugu Simelane, to outline what prevention measures are being put in place for the monkeypox virus.
IFP KZN Provincial spokesperson for Health, Ncamisile Nkwanyana, MPL, says although there are currently no monkeypox cases in South Africa, the MEC cannot remain silent while cases of the virus are being reported in other countries.
“We want to know what the KZN Department of Health is doing in preparation for the possible spread of monkeypox in the province. We don’t want to be caught off-guard. It is better to prepare now than to wait for disaster to strike,” said Nkwanyana.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), monkeypox, also known as MPX/MPXV, is a rare “viral zoonotic disease that occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of Central and West Africa and is occasionally exported to other regions”.
The virus is mostly transmitted to humans via infected animals, such as primates or rodents. However, human-to-human transmission does occur.
Nkwanyana said when South Africa first heard of Covid-19, it was only spreading in other countries, and it was hoped that it wouldn’t reach our shores.
“We have to learn from Covid-19. We have to be well equipped and prepared for an outbreak,” said Nkwanyana.
The party has also called for more awareness around the monkeypox virus.
“People must be educated about the symptoms of the monkeypox virus, as well as what medication and treatments are available if they get infected,” said Nkwanyana.