CAIRO - 7 April 2020: The world is preparing to celebrate World Health Day on April 7, which aims to strengthen and support health systems to provide health services as per the necessary quality standards.
Since assuming political responsibility in the country, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has set the priorities of the 2030 strategy, including concern for health and education, as the president launched a set of health initiatives aimed at providing health services throughout Egypt.
Comprehensive health insurance system
Seven years ago, the government sought to provide health services along with rebuilding the infrastructure of health facilities to ensure the provision of treatment services with international standards without discrimination to all Egyptians, by launching health initiatives, including the launch of a comprehensive health insurance system across Egypt.
President El-Sisi launched the new comprehensive health insurance system in four governorates: Port Said, Luxor, Ismailia, and South Sinai. It is scheduled to include six other governorates in the first phase at the end of 2021 to provide medical services with the highest quality standards, as they were met with massive demand from the Egyptian people after the registration of nearly 3.8 million citizens, especially as the system provides high-quality services through the Health Care Authority.
Seven hospitals and 59 medical units are being upgraded in Luxor; 12 hospitals and 39 medical units are being developed in Ismailiyah; 11 hospitals and 112 medical units are being renovated in Aswan. The pilot operation will begin in Ismailiyah in November before the official launching in February.
The numbers of hospitals and medical units to be part of the system in Suez are five and 27, respectively. The figures for South Sinai are eight and 22, respectively. The pilot phase in those governorates will start mid-December prior to the official launching in March.
The system was first introduced in Port Said in August 2019 through 11 hospitals and 32 medical units. It is being introduced gradually in all the 27 governorates until 2032.
Citizens started registering their names to enroll in the system as of October 2019. The new health insurance system kicked off in July 2020.
Decent Life Initiative
President El-Sisi also launched the Decent Life Initiative, which aims to develop health units, medical centers, and hospitals per the standards of the comprehensive health insurance system, to provide medical services in 1,400 villages in the republic, ensuring the provision of an outstanding level of medical services in line with President Sisi's vision 2030.
The first phase of the initiative began in July 2019 with developing 375 villages considered to be among the poorest in 14 different governorates all over the country. The services provided to the villages were in the sectors of health, education, drinking water, electricity and gas, roads and transportation along with sports and environmental services.
Up to 4.46 million people benefited from Hayaa Karema in its first phase with total projects and services at a cost of LE 13.5 billion.
Up to 600 national projects were implemented in this phase, as another 1580 are expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
23 NGOs participated in developing the living standards of several families spotted living in severely poor conditions, under the supervision of the Ministry of Social Solidarity. Up to 52,000 social interventions and aids were needed as part of the initiative’s developing strategy.
On December 28, 2020, Sisi announced launching the second phase of Hayaa Karema to include another 1376 villages distributed in different 20 governorates with a total of LE 150 billion investments and 18 million beneficiaries.
Up to 20 various authorities and ministries in Egypt are participating in the national initiative with efforts and data. In addition, nearly 23 NGOs and hundreds of volunteers are taking part significantly in all of the projects and stages of the initiative.
Hayaa Karema represents a national project that aims to eliminate poverty and help to create a stable, decent, and healthy life for all Egyptians. It sets a plan to provide infrastructure networks in villages, improves all services, implements projects, and helps the most vulnerable communities among citizens.
Funding medium, small and micro enterprises along with providing educational, cultural services are included in the initiative as part of the mega national initiative.
Initiative to detect breast cancer
Egyptian women have had a large share of President Sisi's initiatives, with the Women's Health Initiative, dedicated to early detection of breast tumors for 28 million women, being one of those initiatives.
12.5 million women have been detected so far, 3,000 women have been treated from breast tumors, and at the same time 24 cancer centers in Egypt have been rebuilt and developed, and treatment protocols have been developed according to the latest versions of tumors treatment in the world.
During the Egyptian Women's Day ceremony held in March, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi proposed establishing a fund to address the challenges faced by the Egyptian women after he reviewed with the health minister the possibility to screen and treat women nationwide for breast cancer.
Minister of Health Hala Zayed said that breast cancer was the second cause of death among Egyptian women, although breast cancer's incidence rate in the country is similar to that in European countries and Japan.
The President’s initiatives had a general resonance among the elderly and those with chronic diseases, as the Early Detection of Chronic Diseases and Nephropathy Initiative was launched.
The initiative has succeeded in early detection of chronic diseases among 25 million citizens, providing lifelong treatments for free, and more than 298 million people have been examined for the detection and treatment of hearing impairment since the initiative was launched in September 2019 until now.
President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi played a prominent role in combating infection, allocating LE 100 billion to support the health sector and provide all means of prevention and safety from infection transmission.
More than 100 million doses have been agreed upon to secure Egyptians from the risks of infection, and at the same time, more than 40 hospitals have been designated for isolation, with the provision of medicines to treat symptoms of Corona and the provision of various medical services for those with chronic diseases.
Waiting List End Initiative
Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed announced the completion of 835,345 surgeries, as part of the initiative of President Sisi, to end waiting lists, since its launch in July 2018.
The cost of the initiative amounted to LE 5 billion and 425 million and 603 thousand, and the performance of surgical operations for 24 thousand and 650 patients replaced drug treatment in various specialties.
Campaign to detect obesity, anemia, and stunting diseases
The Minister of Health recently indicated that medical service has been provided to more than 90 million citizens within the framework of presidential initiatives, praising President Sisi’s recent initiatives to preserve public health, including the obesity initiatives for school students.
The Health Ministry launched a campaign against obesity through media outlets as part of President Sisi’s “100 million healthy lives” campaign. Zayed added the campaign would continue till 2022.
The initiatives also extended to include the launch of an initiative to detect obesity, anemia, and stunting diseases, and the campaign was launched in November 2018 and was able to screen 9.7 million children, and treat anemia free of charge, in addition to educating and treating children against obesity and thinness.
Initiative to eliminate "virus C"
Egypt screened 35 million people for hepatitis C virus (HCV) between October 2018 and March 2019, in a national campaign to supercharge the response to viral hepatitis.
Zayed emphasized that the initiative to eliminate "virus C" had succeeded in detecting 70 million citizens and that Egypt had succeeded in reaching zero infections, stressing that, by eradicating the virus, the initiative saved LE 64 billion pounds spent annually on treating patients.
International reports highlighted Egypt's role in eliminating "virus C", adding Egypt has become a role model in this regard, as the initiative prevented the infection of 150,000 cases annually.