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Monday, 17 February 2020

Egypt's anti-hepatitis C campaign gains pace at hair salons

The initiative includes organising workshops to educate the workers in this sector about communicable diseases

Mohamed Soliman , Sunday 29 Dec 2019
hepatitis C
File Photo: An Egyptian doctor makes a test during an unprecedented campaign that aims to test 50 million people to detect and treat hepatitis C patients in a bid to eliminate the disease by 2022, in Cairo, Egypt November 11, 2018. (Photo: Reuters)
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For those who worry before stepping into beauty salons about the potential of catching infectious diseases due to shared equipment, new measures introduced by the health ministry will come as a relief.
 
Under the motto "protect yourself and your family from the transmission of hepatitis C," Egypt's health ministry last month launched an initiative to reduce the spread of infection through beauty centres, barbershops and spas.
 
The initiative includes organising workshops to educate the workers in this sector about communicable diseases, distributing free, single-use beauty products, and putting up posters inside these businesses to raise awareness of the practices that could lead to the spread of infection.
 
The ministry has issued a book, in cooperation with the local development ministry, which features a group of instructions to be followed to reduce the transmission of hepatitis viruses at beauty salons, said Mohamed Hassani, deputy health minister assistant for public health initiative affairs, in a statement on Sunday.
 
According to the book, it is obligatory to use blades and metal tools only once. Safe disposal is also required. Towels should only be used once before washing.
 
If facilities don’t abide by the instructions, legal action will be taken against them, including withdrawing their operating licenses, Hassani added.
 
This initiative is a complementary step to the "100 Million Health" campaign launched by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi in September 2018.
 
The beauty centre initiative, which began in November, has been implemented so far in 16,326 centres in nine governorates: Port Said, Ismailia, Daqahliya, Gharbiya, Sharqiya, Giza, Beni Suef, Luxor, and Aswan.
 
The second phase of the initiative is set to start in January in nine other governorates: Alexandria, Minya, Qena, Menoufia, Assiut, Red Sea, North Sinai, South Sinai and Marsa Matrouh.
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