File Photo: Egypt's Health Minister Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar. Photo courtesy of Egyptian health ministry Facebook page.
According to Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar, the spokesperson of the health ministry, the mother and fetus health initiative aims to diagnose diseases transmitted from mothers to fetuses at an early stage and to provide free treatment and medical care as part of the larger 100 Million Healthy Lives presidential initiative.
The initiative focuses on the early diagnosis of Hepatitis B Virus, HIV, and syphilis infections among pregnant women in addition to reducing the rate of maternal mortality from these diseases, Abdel-Ghaffar added.
It uses reagents of international quality standards, the spokesperson said, adding that it offers advice for the prevention of diseases.
Furthermore, the initiative includes a follow-up on mothers and their newborns for 42 days after delivery to detect any health complications should they arise, in addition to dispensing the necessary micronutrients during that period.
The initiative is implemented by more than 4,000 medical teams in medical units and centres nationwide from 8am to 2pm throughout weekdays.
Cases that require further testing are referred to one of the many medical institutions affiliated with the ministry that serve patients suffering from Hepatitis B, syphilis, or hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar level) across the country.
The health ministry announced in May of this year that it had screened 1.45 million women in the initiative since its launch.
On a related note, 21 million women were screened under a broader presidential initiative to support women's health through 2021.
The women's health initiative was designed to screen carcinoma of the breast at an early stage, pursue clinical examination, and provide free-of-charge treatment, focusing on reproductive health, family planning, and healthy lifestyles.