Egypt to be declared Hepatitis C free in 2020

Sama Osama , Monday 4 Nov 2019

The national campaign “100 milion healthy lives” (Photo: Ahram Weekly)

Egypt will be declared free from Hepatitis C (HCV) in May 2020, Egyptian Presidency Spokesperson Bassam Rady said on Sunday.

The Ministry of Health said Egypt would receive a certificate that it is HCV-free from the World Health Organisation (WHO) during the next session of World Health Assembly.

Egypt launched in October 2018 the health campaign "100 million healthy lives" under the directive of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

The campaign aimed to detect HCV, as well as non-communicable diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, and provide follow-up and evaluation services through treatment centres and health units located across governorates.

The first phase of the campaign took place between 1 October and 30 November 2018 in the governorates of Alexandria, Beheira, Matrouh, Port Said, Damietta, Qalioubiya, South Sinai, Fayoum and Assiut.

The second phase of the campaign was launched from 1 December 2018 to 28 February 2019 in the governorates of North Sinai, Red Sea, Cairo, Ismailia, Suez, Kafr El-Sheikh, Menoufiya, Bani Sweif, Sohag, Luxor and Aswan.

The third phase of the campaign took place between 1 March and 30 April 2019 in the governorates of the New Valley, Giza, Gharbiya, Daqahliya, Sharqiya, Minya and Qena.

President El-Sisi announced in March 2019 that foreigners living in Egypt can be screened as part of the campaign including refugees and asylum-seekers. The Ministry of Health said last May that Syrians were the top foreign nationals screened for HCV, followed by Palestinians and Sudanese.

The Ministry of Health announced in September that 49.9 million Egyptians and 65,000 foreign residents underwent medical check-ups as part of the campaign.

In August, President El-Sisi met with the WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom, who gave El-Sisi the WHO’s verification report on Egypt’s health campaign.

President El-Sisi said at the UN high-level meeting on universal health coverage on the sidelines of the 74th UN General Assembly in New York last September that Egypt sought to extend the campaign to other African countries

In September an Egyptian medical team was sent to South Sudan to open a hepatitis treatment unit in Juba. Another team was sent to Chad in October.

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