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Claims of cure for HIV, Hepatitis C are a 'scandal': Egypt presidential advisor

Army-made devices that allegedly cure HIV and Hepatitis C have no clear scientific basis, says scientific advisor to Egyptian president

Ahram Online, Wednesday 26 Feb 2014
Heggy
Presidential aide for scientific issues, Essam Heggy (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Claims by the Egyptian army that it has found a cure for Hepatitis C and HIV are a "scientific scandal for Egypt," the president's scientific advisor has said.

The devices are unconvincing and appear to have no clear scientific basis, Essam Heggy told Al-Watan newspaper on Tuesday.

Heggy, who is currently on a visit to the US, said he has papers proving the devices are ineffective and he will present them to the president when he returns to Egypt next week.

At a press conference on Saturday, army spokesperson Colonel Ahmed Ali said: “The armed forces have achieved a scientific breakthrough by inventing devices to diagnose and treat Hepatitis C and HIV without taking a blood sample from the patient, which gets immediate results at a low cost."

Heggy said President Adly Mansour and Defence Minister Abdel-Fattah El-Sissi - who attended the press conference - did not know the details of the announcement in advance and were "surprised" by what they heard.

Heggy said he was not consulted about the announcement and expressed regret that Egyptian specialists in Hepatitis C and HIV had not been consulted beforehand.

"An issue this sensitive, in my personal opinion, could hurt the image of the state," Heggy said, adding that foreign newspapers could utilise the announcement to harm Egypt's image internationally.

Physician and Major-General Ibrahim Abdel-Atti, the man behind the reported scientific breakthroughs, said the HIV and Hepatitis C treatments had a 100 percent success rate.

"I started working on this project 22 years ago," Abdel-Atti said at Saturday's press conference. "It started secretly in the military intelligence department but we are now announcing it to the whole world."

The devices to diagnose Hepatitis C and HIV using electromagnetic waves are called C-Fast and I-Fast, while the device to treat HIV and Hepatitis C, as well psoriasis, is called the Complete Cure Device (CCD). The CCD will supposedly be used publicly in Egypt by June 2014.

A short documentary was displayed at the press conference showing a patient who claimed to have been totally cured of AIDS by the device.

Major-General Abdullah Taher, the head of the army's engineering authority, told Al-Ahram Arabic news website that the devices would not be exported abroad in order to protect them from "the mafia" of big pharmaceutical companies and nations that control the pharmaceutical industry.

A medical source told Ahram Online that the devices had been approved since 2012, but the treatment device was still being evaluated by the health ministry.

In 2011, the defence ministry filed a patent with the World Intellectual Property Organisation on the C-Fast device to diagnose Hepatitis C.

Egypt has one of the highest rates of Hepatitis C infections in the world. The number of patients reached 8 million in 2008, according to health ministry figures, or nearly 10 percent of the population. In some parts of Upper Egypt and the Nile Delta infection rates reach 20 percent.

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