On 18 October and under the auspices of the ministry of health, the National Committee for the Control of Viral Hepatitis announced the launch of Egypt's first national hepatitis C patient registry, which links those treated with interferon to fight the virus across the country. This network will be considered the world’s largest database of hepatitis C patients.
Dr Wafaa El-Akel, Executive Manager of the HCV talked to Ahram Online about the importance of this step and the extent of problem that Egypt faces in that regard: "this virus still maintains itself globally as the fastest spreading virus. In Egypt we have the highest percentage worldwide: according to the data we rely on, ten per cent of Egyptians suffer from the disease," she said.
Dr El-Akel added that the importance of this network is that it helps assess the extent of other issues associated with the virus, helps quality patient care and prevents infection at its root - all by analysing the new data and figuring out the most common means of infection.
The registry marks a new era toward controlling the disease in Egypt, according to Dr Wahid Doss, Dean of the National Liver Institute, by centralising records for patients receiving treatment via liver centres nationwide. To date it includes the records of over 32,000 patients. "This project will transform hepatitis C treatment in Egypt by effectively managing resources to achieve the highest cure rates, closely monitoring patient progress and following up on the number of injections dispensed, which strongly supports patient compliance," he said.
Dr Doss credits and thanks two main entities in that regard: Hoffmann La Roche’s support for the project as well as for all the efforts towards tackling hepatitis C in Egypt, as well as the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology for its tremendous efforts which have made this project a success.
Dr Ehab Youssef, General Manager, Hoffman La Roche Egypt expressed gratitude to the Health Ministry and the National Committee for allowing them the privilege of supporting this vital project and stressed their commitment to the community, continuing to provide hepatitis C treatment to Egypt’s government institutions at the lowest price worldwide, supporting the establishment of treatment units and taking part in awareness initiatives to curb HCV in Egypt.
It is worth mentioning that the National Committee launched the National Project for hepatitis C treatment in 2006 and that more than 240,000 patients have been treated at the state’s expense through 23 nationwide liver centres.
The Ministry of Health has so far spent LE2 billion to support the project and succeeded, in cooperation with manufacturing companies, in providing globally-approved treatments at the lowest cost worldwide.
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