JAKARTADAILY.ID – The World Health Organization (WHO) will begin using a new preferred term “mpox” as a synonym for monkeypox, following a series of consultations with global experts.
In a written statement on the WHO official site, the UN Health Agency was concerned that the original name of the decades-old animal disease could be construed as discriminatory and racist.
“When the outbreak of monkeypox expanded earlier this year, racist and stigmatizing language online, in other settings, and in some communities was observed and reported to WHO,” said the statement.
“In several meetings, public and private, a number of individuals and countries raised concerns and asked WHO to propose a way forward to change the name,” continues the statement.
WHO also will use both names simultaneously for one year while “monkeypox” is phased out.
WHO will adopt the term mpox in its communications, and encourages others to follow these recommendations, to minimize any ongoing negative impact of the current name and from the adoption of the new name.