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National: Green Party supports call for monkeypox elimination strategy

3:30 pm on 11 August 2022

The Green Party is calling for the government to implement a monkeypox elimination strategy, similar to the "hard and early" approach during Covid-19. 

Four cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in New Zealand so far, two in Auckland and two in the South Island.

Last week, The Burnett Foundation (formerly the NZ Aids Foundation), the New Zealand Sexual Health Society, and leading sexual health researcher Dr Peter Saxton submitted an open letter, warning the virus could spread quickly if the government doesn't act now.

Green health spokesperson Elizabeth Kerekere says the government needs to listen to public health experts and take the path of caution in the face of uncertainty.

"An elimination approach is the best and only way to protect people's health," she said.

Kerekere says we have the tools and the knowledge to prevent monkeypox from spreading in Aotearoa, including "world-class contract tracing and border testing capacity."

"Putting these tools to use early will be essential for protecting people's health, particularly our Rainbow whānau."

Public interest journalism funded through NZ on Air.