The initiative, which was launched in February 2019, aims to examine 15 million Egyptian and non-Egyptian primary school students living in the country, Spokesperson for the health ministry Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar said.
The initiative’s target is to cover a total of 29,444 public and private schools, with the initiative set to continue its work until the end of the school year in all governorates across the country, according to Abdel-Ghaffar.
A total of 2,400 medical teams have participated in the initiative. Each team consists of three personnel: a nurse, a laboratory technician and an administrator, Abdel-Ghaffar noted.
He added that each team member has been trained on examination protocols, diagnostics and infection control standards.
The initiative comes under the umbrella of the larger 100 Million Healthy Lives presidential initiative for the early detection and treatment of many serious diseases.
Under the larger campaign, Egypt’s health ministry launched in March an initiative for the early detection and treatment of Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) - liver cancer, the sixth most prevalent cancer in the globe.
The initiative is an extension of efforts to screen for the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) that was launched in 2018, also under the umbrella of the 100 Million Healthy Lives presidential initiative.
In July 2020, the health ministry announced that Egypt has become the first country to succeed in becoming free of HCV thanks to the national initiative to end the infectious disease that ended in April 2019.
Egypt is also considering launching an initiative for the early detection of autism in children aged two and older, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Acting Health Minister Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar said early in April.
The country also launched an initiative for the early detection of genetic diseases in July 2021, managing to screen 98,000 new born infants so far, according to the health ministry earlier this month.
Egypt screened over 22 million women as of February 2022 as part of the larger presidential initiative to support women’s health. The initiative aims to screen 28 million women over 18 years of age.