Biden Administration Supports WHO Renaming Monkeypox - medtigo



Biden Administration Supports WHO Renaming Monkeypox

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Yesterday, the Biden Harris Administration supported the World Health Organization’s (WHO) decision to rename monkeypox disease as mpox.  

“We welcome the World Health Organization’s adjustment.” Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Xavier Becerra stated, “We must do everything possible to eliminate obstacles to public health, and lowering the stigma associated with sickness is a crucial step in our efforts to eradicate smallpox.”  

As per the HHS, The WHO is the international organization responsible for illness naming. U.S. leaders have been in regular discussions with stakeholders highlighting our shared concerns, and have been in close contact with WHO counterparts to convey their support for an urgent process to change the name and propose a new name.  

In accordance to yesterday’s action by the WHO, federal public health organizations will henceforth use the term mpox in their communications with the medical community and the American public. This change from the WHO can help improve the U.S. response to mpox by using a term that does not evoke bias or stigma.

It will also aid efforts to reach the most impacted communities with a term that does not prevent individuals from accessing the care, resources, and support they need to protect themselves and others. The disease was given its name in 1970, prior to the 2015 publication of WHO’s best guidelines for naming diseases.

According to the WHO’s best practices, new disease names should try to reduce unwarranted negative effects on trade, travel, tourism, and animal welfare, as well as to avoid offending any cultural, social, national, regional, professional, or ethnic groups. 

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