AKUH, Ojha and CHK get over 300 monkeypox test kits from WHO

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The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday handed over 300 PCR kits for the detection of monkeypox to the Sindh health department, which would supply them to three public and private health facilities in Karachi, officials said.

“Today we received 300 PCR kits for the detection of monkeypox from the World Health Organization (WHO), which will be donated to two public and one private health facilities in Karachi. No suspected cases have so far been reported in the province or the rest of the country, but we want to equip our health facilities with tools to detect the virus infection,” said Dr. Juman Bahoto, Chief Executive Officer of Sindh Health, to The News. .

National Institute of Health (NIH) officials in Islamabad have also confirmed that they have acquired the PCR kits for the monkeypox virus test. They added that they were ready to test samples from all over Pakistan, adding that so far no samples had been tested.

According to the WHO, more than 1,000 cases have been confirmed in 29 countries where the disease is not endemic. The Sindh Director General of Health said the 300 PCR kits would be split equally between Civil Hospital Karachi, Dow University Ojha Campus Public Health Laboratory and Aga Khan University Hospital Karachi. He added that District Health Officers (DHOs) would be asked to send samples from suspicious people to one of these facilities for testing.

Although infectious disease experts say monkeypox is “less likely” to become a pandemic like Covid-19, despite being a zoonotic disease, which spreads from animals to humans, the Institute National Health Authority (NIH) in Islamabad has already issued an alert and provincial health authorities remain on “high alert” for any suspected cases.

According to AKUH infectious disease specialist Dr. Faisal Mehmood, monkeypox is less likely to become a pandemic like Covid-19 because it was less contagious than coronavirus, but authorities should remain on high alert for its detection.

“So the good thing is that compared to Covid it’s less contagious. Secretions from an infected person are contagious and you need closer contact to get the infection,” Dr Faisal said, adding that a person was contagious on the day of the symptoms and not a few days before (as in the case of Covid-19).

It was easier to identify sick people, he said, adding that sick people would seek care because in that case they would not think it was a common cough-like illness. and colds. Hospitals and clinics just had to be vigilant, he added.

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