In a column published on June 10 on the Virological.org website, African scientists demand that the WHO change the name of monkeypox so as not to stigmatize Africans. They also denounce the media treatment of this epidemic by the Western media which, in their articles, do not hesitate to systematically refer the origin of the disease to Africa.
African scientists angry. After expressing their immense astonishment at seeing monkeypox all of a sudden spreading around the world (even though it had been completely eliminated a long time ago), a group of African scientists, in a column published on 10 June on the Virological.org site, denounced the media’s treatment of this epidemic, considering that it (this media treatment) is discriminatory in many respects. They also ask the WHO to find another name for this disease in order to avoid stigmatizing Africans too much.
In the column read by Lecourrier-du-soir.com, African scientists, unanimously, do not hide their great anger. “The prevailing perception in the international media and in the scientific literature is that monkey pox (MPXV) is endemic in some African countries. However, it is common knowledge that all smallpox epidemics, before the one known in 2022, have been the result of transmission from animals to humans.
And the scientists continue: “in this context of the monkeypox epidemic, the reference which consists in attributing this disease to Africa is not only not true, but it is discriminatory and stigmatising. The most obvious manifestation of this stigma is in the use of photos in which African patients suffering from monkeypox are used (by Western media) to illustrate their articles on the subject”.
In their forum, the scientists say they are shocked by the shortcut of the Western media which systematically link monkey pox to Africa. Thus, to put an end to this painful and discriminatory situation, they ask the World Health Organization to find a neutral nomenclature.
To read the column in its entirety, click here: Virological.org