Egypt close to global recognition as first country to eliminate Hepatitis C: Health minister

Ahram Online , Saturday 29 Jul 2023

Egypt looks forward to soon being officially recognized and accredited by regional and global health organizations as the first country to eliminate hepatitis C, said Egypt’s Minister of Health and Population Khalid Abdel-Ghaffar on Friday.

Egypt s Minister of Health
Egypt s Minister of Health and Population Khalid Abdel-Ghaffar during his televised speech at WHO s World Hepatitis Day meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.


Abdel-Ghaffar’s remarks came during his televised speech at the World Health Organization (WHO) meeting in Geneva, celebrating World Hepatitis Day, according to a statement by the health ministry.

In July 2020, the health minister announced that Egypt was the first country to successfully eradicate Hepatitis C, with several Egyptian landmarks lit up in green to celebrate the achievement. 

Egypt has achieved remarkable recent success in combating Hepatitis C by developing a comprehensive plan which diagnosed and treated nearly 4 million Hepatitis C patients in less than five years, Abdel-Ghaffar explained.

The virus previously claimed the lives of between 40,000 to 50,000 Egyptians annually.  

Over 6,000 testing sites with diagnostic facilities were set up nationwide, which tested more than 60 million people for free, both Egyptians and foreigners, within just 7 months.

Millions of Hepatitis C antiviral drugs were manufactured in Egyptian factories at competitive prices and used to treat those diagnosed with the virus at over 200 treatment centers, says Abdel-Ghaffar.

The whole project forms a part of the 100 Million Health presidential initiative, he continued.

Launched in October 2018, the initiative was tasked with eradicating hepatitis and non-communicable diseases among Egyptians. 

The initiative included mass screenings of all adult citizens for early detection of various diseases and viruses, including Hepatitis C, diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.

Global eradication

Abdel-Ghaffar also reaffirmed Egypt’s commitment to treat one million African Hepatitis C patients and to expand efforts to eliminate viral Hepatitis C in Africa, as part of the 100 Million Health initiative’s extended goals.

The minister also highlighted Egypt’s role in eradicating Hepatitis C in 2022 at the global level, explaining that Egypt participated in designing the first set of global guidelines for combating viral Hepatitis C in 2021. 

Egypt will combine its efforts with the international community to eliminate viral Hepatitis C by the year 2030, said Abdel-Ghaffar, in line with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals and WHO objectives.

The minister concluded his remarks by pointing out plans for cooperation between the Ministry of Health and the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ACDCP).

The ministry is planning an extensive program to train African healthcare workers to treat Hepatitis C and eradicate it in their home countries.

Short link: