Egypt to start treating 10 muscular atrophy cases as per president’s directives



Sat, 03 Jul 2021 - 09:04 GMT


Sat, 03 Jul 2021 - 09:04 GMT

A baby diagnosed with SMA – Science Photo Library

A baby diagnosed with SMA – Science Photo Library

CAIRO – 2 July 2021: Egypt’s Health Minister Hala Zayed said the country will start the treatment of 10 out of 32 cases suffering from Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) as per President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s directives.

The treatment will be carried out through the most expensive drug worldwide, Zayed said in press remarks, which costs $2-3 million per dose.

The treatment initiative will start with 10 cases whose ages are below two years, Zayed noted.

She said the political leadership has ordered the treatment of all SMA cases, affirming that a sustainable mechanism has been set to treat the cases that are above two years old.

She added that this category, however, will require a lifelong treatment.

The Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a rare disorder and a neuromuscular issue that is usually diagnosed in infancy or early childhood and can likely cause death if left untreated.

Sisi spoke about the country’s efforts to treat children suffering from muscle atrophy last week as he checked vehicles and equipment used in development of villages included in the Haya Karima initiative.

He said the muscle atrophy treatment costs up to $3 million per child and Egypt is determined to secure it although many other countries cannot afford it.

“There are means for early detection of this disease in the early months of the child’s birth. If we knew that, there would be treatment, which costs up to $3 million per child,” El-Sisi said.

Attending the event, Zayed said 204 muscle atrophy cases have been detected in Egypt, of which more than 32 can be treated.

Egypt will start treating the muscle atrophy cases starting next week, Zayed noted.

The president called on the civil society organizations to take part in the initiative.

The Ministry of Health affirmed that Egypt will start the treatment of the first 10 cases at Nasser Institute and Ain Shams Hospital.

The ministry said that the drug used to treat cases of muscular atrophy is of high cost, and will be provided for treatment in Egypt.

The Egyptian Drug Authority earlier revealed the registration of the first drug in the Egyptian drug market for the treatment of muscle atrophy.

The EDA said the drug will contribute to reducing the suffering of patients, as well as eliminating the phenomenon of drug smuggling.

The complaints system of the government has recorded complaints of muscular atrophy patients, which prompted the authority to work as hard as possible in order to meet their demand.



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