Monkeypox is not just confusion, many experts believe that the names of the two strains of the virus evoke racist stereotypes, reinforce repulsive notions about Africa, that this is a dangerous continent, full of epidemics, abetment of stigma in the health sector.
A public health expert, said the community’s attitude to monkeypox was reminiscent of the early days of the AIDS crisis.
At that time, Africa was unfairly linked, being designated as the source of the spread of the disease, making many people afraid to seek medical help.
According to experts, the stigma surrounding a disease can have insidious consequences.
Governments, worried about the impact of tourism or investment, can hide the outbreak in the country.
African exchange students living abroad will be shunned or ridiculed.
In fact, the controversial names of plagues have been a longstanding problem, not just in Africa.
When Covid-19 just appeared in China, the disease was informally called “Wuhan pneumonia” or “Wuhan virus”.
As a result, violence against the Asian community increased in the U.S. and many other countries.
The virus naming rule was established in 2015 to “minimize the unnecessary negative impact of disease names on trade, tourism, animals and to avoid offending any cultural, social, national, regional, occupational or racial group,” the WHO said.