In this podcast interview with GPI, the Nigerian Professor Dimie Ogoina reflects on the current outbreak of monkeypox. As early as 2017, Dimie Ogoina sounded the alarm on a possible outbreak of monkeypox in Nigeria. In 2019, a scientific study was published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases discussing the findings. But until the disease reached Europe and North America in late spring 2022, little attention was paid to the steadily rising cases in Nigeria. It wasn’t until the summer that NPR picked up on Dimie’s warnings .
We talk with Dimie and discussed what lessons he draws from the monkeypox outbreak for improved pandemic preparedness worldwide. Dimie, a member of WHO’s Monkeypox Emergency Committee, questions the double standard in the global science community and a persistent inequality in responses between North and South. Still, findings from the global South often find little regard and solutions from the global North are repeatedly not shared globally.
The question remains what the world has learned from Covid-19, as no vaccines have reached African countries in which monkeypox is endemic, yet Europe and North America is vaccinating at-risk groups. Much more attention must be paid to research emerging from African countries, as globalization, climate change and migration are changing geopolitics and diseases know no borders.
Prof Dimie Ogoina is an Infectious Disease Physician at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital (NDUTH), Okolobiri, Bayelsa State, Nigeria and a Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the Niger Delta University, Amassoma, Bayelsa State, Nigeia. He currently serves as the Chief Medical Director of the NDUTH and the President of the Nigerian Infectious Diseases Society.
Hannah Hölscher, Project Management