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The COVAX facility, backed by the World Health Organization and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, has delivered 1.55 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to 146 countries. In December, COVAX set a target of achieving 70% COVID-19 immunization coverage by mid-2022.

The continent has no vaccines for monkeypox and test kits are in short supply, international health agencies said on Thursday, warning that richer countries already appeared to be hoarding vaccines.

Monkeypox is not yet a global health emergency, the World Health Organization (WHO) ruled on Saturday, although WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was deeply concerned about the outbreak.

The World Health Organization will decide on Thursday whether to declare monkeypox a global health emergency, stirring criticism from leading African scientists who say it has been a crisis in their region for years.

GSK and Novartis reinforced commitments on Thursday to tackle neglected tropical diseases, as world leaders and health experts gather in Rwanda to discuss ways to better combat illnesses affecting more than a billion people, mostly in impoverished communities.

Roche on Wednesday said the company and its unit have developed three test kits to detect the monkeypox virus, as the disease spreads in regions outside Africa, where the virus is not normally found.

The outbreak of monkeypox cases outside of Africa can be contained, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday, as more governments said they would launch limited vaccinations to combat rising infections of the virus.