The initiative, which is running for the fourth year in a row under the larger 100 Million Healthy Lives presidential initiative, aims to screen 2.5 million preparatory school students during the 2021-2022 school year, said the ministry. The current school year will end later this month.
The initiative is set to continue next year.
According to the ministry, 166,427 students have been screened for hepatitis C in Giza followed by 160,070 students in Cairo, 136,537 students in Sharqiya and 128,931 students in Beheira during the current phase of the initiative.
The examinations are being carried out by 419 medical teams from the General Authority for Health Insurance, the ministry said.
Students who test positive for the virus are referred to the authority’s nationwide liver centres to obtain the required treatment free of charge, the ministry affirmed.
The ministry has announced that millions of preparatory and secondary school students as well as university students have been tested since the launch of the initiative in 2018.
Over the past two years, 9.5 million students have been screened under the initiative, a top ministry official told the state-owned Akhbar El-Yom newspaper last August.
The country launched the initiative for early detection and treatment of hepatitis C and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in 2018 and screened over 60 million people out of Egypt’s 102 million population.
In July 2020, the health ministry announced that Egypt has become the first country to succeed in becoming free of hepatitis C thanks to the national initiative to end the infectious disease.
The country has also screened millions of people under several health initiatives launched over the past few years under the umbrella of the 100 Million Healthy Lives presidential initiative.
This includes an initiative for the early detection of anemia, obesity and dwarfism among primary school students, an initiative to support women’s health, and an initiative for the early detection of genetic diseases.
In March, Egypt also launched an initiative for the early detection and treatment of Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) - liver cancer, the sixth most prevalent cancer in the globe.
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.