OTTAWA, July 21 (Xinhua) -- The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) said on Thursday that the government is partnering with community-based organizations to address monkeypox outbreak in the country.
In a news release, the PHAC announced a total of 350,000 Canadian dollars (280,000 U.S. dollars) to support community-based organizations in Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa, the regions most impacted by the monkeypox outbreak.
The health agency confirmed 604 cases of monkeypox in the country as of Wednesday.
"Every community has its unique ways of sharing information," said Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos in the news release, adding that this funding will enable the organizations to amplify what they are already doing, increasing and maintaining awareness about the risks of monkeypox and sharing information in the most effective and compelling ways possible.
The funding will help the organizations, which work with gay and bisexual men, increase their capacity to respond to the expressed needs of their communities for prevention, education, awareness, and anti-stigma activities, the PHAC said.
The agency said it is working closely with provincial and territorial public health partners to ensure coordination of the national strategic response, and that provinces and territories determine their immunization programs based on their unique circumstances.
According to the PHAC, as of July 18, Quebec has administered 12,553 doses of vaccine to high-risk individuals. The majority of Quebec regions have opened vaccination to the population at risk.
Monkeypox is a viral disease that can spread from person to person through close contact including sexual contact, with an infected person's skin, bodily fluids, mucosal surfaces, and contaminated objects, such as sex toys, or shared personal items, such as clothing, linens, bedding, towels, toothbrushes, and utensils, according to the PHAC. ■