16 January 2019: Minister of Health Hala Zayed unveiled an Egyptian initiative to treat African people from Hepatitis C, starting with the Nile Basin countries who have an estimated 3.7 million hepatitis C patients, representing 30 percent of the total number of infected people in Africa.
During a meeting with members of the Parliament’s African Affairs Committee headed by Tarek Radwan, on Tuesday, Zayed said that the ministry currently works to help the Nile Basin countries cure the cases that test positive for Hepatitis C and will send medical personnel even from the private sector to these states.
This initiative will help spread Egyptian medicine and open markets for it, Zayed said, adding that it offers an opportunity to export medicine to Africa and an opportunity to treat 1 million people infected with the blood-borne disease in the Nile Basin countries.
Zayed also urged benefiting from the Egyptian medical initiatives, including the “100 Million Seha (health)” campaign, and the campaign to eliminate waiting lists. She expressed keenness to launch similar initiatives in the Nile Basin countries.
The minister confirmed that Cairo provides treatment for Hepatitis C for patients for only $50-$120 per patient, asserting that treatments in other countries can cost the patient between $28,000 and $80,000.She also stressed she is contacting the international bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) to cover the cost of medicine in these countries.
In January 2018, Egypt has been elected as chair of the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government for a one-year term in 2019.
Becoming a role model for the African nations, Egypt, under President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s rule, has launched the “100 Million Seha” campaign to detect and treat for free locals infected with chronic diseases including Hepatitis C and Diabetes.
On January 13, Khaled Megahed, Health Ministry spokesman said that 27 million citizens have undergone examination of Hepatitis C since the beginning of the campaign, which was launched by a presidential decree in October 2018.
The second phase of the state’s campaign to end Hepatitis C in Egypt by 2020 kicked off on December 1. It addresses citizens in 11 governorates, including Cairo, North Sinai, Red Sea, Ismailia, Suez, Kafr el-Sheikh, Menoufia, Beni Suef, Sohag, Luxor, and Aswan. It is set to end late in February 2019. Zayed said earlier that 6,486 medical teams are participating in this phase.
The national campaign’s check-ups include Hepatitis C test, body mass index,and random glucose and blood pressure tests.
In January 2019, an official source in the Health Ministry told Egypt Today that citizens will also get the hemoglobin A1c test to help early detection of diabetes, and provide immediate free treatment for diabetic people.
The HbA1c is carried out to diagnose diabetes and record the average level of blood sugar over the previous two or three months.
The source affirmed that diabetes treatments are available and are distributed urgently to diabetic patients, pointing out to the strong cooperation between treatment centers to prevent waiting lists.