WHO / HEALTH EMERGENCIES UPDATE

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17-Aug-2022 00:06:40
The Head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, said, “almost all cases” of monkeypox “continue to be reported among men who have sex with men, underscoring the importance for all countries to design and deliver services and information tailored to these communities that protect health, human rights and dignity.” WHO

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STORY: WHO / HEALTH EMERGENCIES UPDATE
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SOURCE: WHO
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 17 AUGUST 2022, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, exterior WHO Headquarters

17 AUGUST 2022, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot, press conference
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"First, an update on the global monkeypox outbreak. More than 35,000 cases of monkeypox have now been reported to WHO from 92 countries and territories with 12 deaths. Almost 7,500 cases were reported last week, a 20 percent increase over the previous week, which was also 20 precent more than the week before. Almost all cases are being reported from Europe and the Americas, and almost all cases continue to be reported among men who have sex with men, underscoring the importance for all countries to design and deliver services and information tailored to these communities that protect health, human rights and dignity. The primary focus for all countries must be to ensure they are ready for monkeypox and to stop transmission using effective public health tools, including enhanced disease surveillance, careful contact tracing, tailored risk communication and community engagement and risk reduction measures."
4. Wide shot, press conference
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"Vaccines may also play an important part in controlling the outbreak. And in many countries, there is high demand for vaccines from the affected communities. However, for the moment, supplies of vaccines and data about their effectiveness are limited. Although we are starting to receive data from some countries."
6. Wide shot, press conference
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Rosamund Lewis, Head, Technical Lead for Monkeypox, Health Emergencies Programme World Health Organization (WHO):
"So, we are not expecting 100 percent efficacy for these vaccines, for the prevention of monkeypox. We don't know the exact information. What we're seeing are breakthrough cases, which are not really surprises. But it reminds us that vaccine is not a silver bullet, that every person who feels that they are at risk and appreciates their own level of risk and wishes to lower their own level of risk have many interventions at their disposal, which includes vaccination where available, but also includes protection from activities where they may be at risk, reducing number of sex partners, avoiding group sex or casual sex, and specifically when a vaccine is in fact administered, waiting until that vaccine has the time to produce a maximum immune response. In the case of MVA vaccine, this is two weeks after the second dose."
8. Wide shot, press conference
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme World Health Organization (WHO):
"I don't expect the virus to evolve any more quickly in one single dog than in one single human. So, in that sense, in this particular situation, this particular animal is the member of a human family and is just someone, an animal, unfortunately, exposed to the virus. And in that sense, we want to make sure that anybody around a person or a case, that you don't infect people in the household with you, you don't infect animals in the household with the issue, that can be avoided. We need to remain vigilant. We need to remain cautious. But at the same time, animals and pets do not represent a risk to people right now."
10. Wide shot, press conference
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"Now to the Greater Horn of Africa. Where millions of people are facing starvation and disease in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda. Drought, conflict, climate change and increasing prices for food, fuel and fertilizer are all contributing to lack of access to sufficient food. Hunger and malnutrition pose a direct threat to health, but they also weaken the body's defences and open the door to diseases including pneumonia, measles and cholera."
12. Wide shot, press conference
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"In the Ethiopian region of Tigray, the drought is compounding a manmade catastrophe for 6 million people who have been under siege from Ethiopian and Eritrean forces for 21 months. Sealed off from the outside world with no telecommunications, no banking services, no electricity and limited fuel. As a result, the people of Tigray are facing multiple outbreaks of malaria, anthrax, cholera, diarrhoea and more. This unimaginable cruelty must end. The only solution is peace."
14. Wide shot, press conference
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"Finally, on COVID-19. Over the past four weeks, reported deaths globally have increased by 75 percent. Just in the past week, 15,000 people around the world lost their lives to COVID-19. 15,000 a week is completely unacceptable. When we have all the tools to prevent infections and save lives.
We're all tired of this virus and tired of the pandemic. But the virus is not tired of us."
16. Wide shot, press conference
17. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"With colder weather approaching in the northern hemisphere and people spending more time indoors, the risks for more intense transmission and hospitalization will only increase in the coming months. Not only for COVID-19, but for other diseases, including influenza. But none of us is helpless. Please get vaccinated if you are not. And if you need a booster, get one. Wear a mask when you can't distance and try to avoid crowds, especially indoors."
18. Wide shot, press conference
19. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"There is a lot of talk about learning to live with this virus. But we cannot live with 15,000 deaths a week. We cannot live with mounting hospitalizations and deaths. We cannot live with inequitable access to vaccines and other tools. Learning to live with COVID-19 does not mean we pretend it's not there. It means we use the tools we have to protect ourselves and protect others."
20. Wide shot, press conference

STORYLINE:

The Head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, today (17 Aug) said, “almost all cases” of monkeypox “continue to be reported among men who have sex with men, underscoring the importance for all countries to design and deliver services and information tailored to these communities that protect health, human rights and dignity.”

Tedros told reporters in Geneva that “more than 35,000 cases of monkeypox have now been reported to WHO from 92 countries and territories with 12 deaths” and added that “almost 7,500 cases were reported last week, a 20 percent increase over the previous week, which was also 20 precent more than the week before.”

He said, the primary focus must be “to stop transmission using effective public health tools, including enhanced disease surveillance, careful contact tracing, tailored risk communication and community engagement and risk reduction measures."

He said, "vaccines may also play an important part in controlling the outbreak” but noted that “for the moment, supplies of vaccines and data about their effectiveness are limited. Although we are starting to receive data from some countries."

The WHO’s Technical Lead for Monkeypox, Dr Rosamund Lewis, said, “we are not expecting 100 percent efficacy for these vaccines, for the prevention of monkeypox. We don't know the exact information. What we're seeing are breakthrough cases, which are not really surprises. But it reminds us that vaccine is not a silver bullet, that every person who feels that they are at risk and appreciates their own level of risk and wishes to lower their own level of risk have many interventions at their disposal, which includes vaccination where available, but also includes protection from activities where they may be at risk, reducing number of sex partners, avoiding group sex or casual sex, and specifically when a vaccine is in fact administered, waiting until that vaccine has the time to produce a maximum immune response. In the case of MVA vaccine, this is two weeks after the second dose."

Commenting on a reported case of human to dos transmission, the Executive Director of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, Michael Ryan, said, "I don't expect the virus to evolve any more quickly in one single dog than in one single human. So, in that sense, in this particular situation, this particular animal is the member of a human family and is just someone, an animal, unfortunately, exposed to the virus. And in that sense, we want to make sure that anybody around a person or a case, that you don't infect people in the household with you, you don't infect animals in the household with the issue, that can be avoided. We need to remain vigilant. We need to remain cautious. But at the same time, animals and pets do not represent a risk to people right now."

Turning to food insecurity in the Greater Horn of Africa, Tedros said, “millions of people are facing starvation and disease in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.”

He said, “drought, conflict, climate change and increasing prices for food, fuel and fertilizer are all contributing to lack of access to sufficient food. Hunger and malnutrition pose a direct threat to health, but they also weaken the body's defences and open the door to diseases including pneumonia, measles and cholera."

In the Ethiopian region of Tigray, he said, “the drought is compounding a manmade catastrophe for 6 million people who have been under siege from Ethiopian and Eritrean forces for 21 months.”

As a result, Tedros said, “the people of Tigray are facing multiple outbreaks of malaria, anthrax, cholera, diarrhoea and more."

On COVID-19, the Director-General said, “over the past four weeks, reported deaths globally have increased by 75 percent,” and noted that 15,000 people lost their lives last week alone. He said this was “completely unacceptable when we have all the tools to prevent infections and save lives.”

Tedros said, “there is a lot of talk about learning to live with this virus. But we cannot live with 15,000 deaths a week. We cannot live with mounting hospitalizations and deaths. We cannot live with inequitable access to vaccines and other tools. Learning to live with COVID-19 does not mean we pretend it's not there. It means we use the tools we have to protect ourselves and protect others. "
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