CAIRO – 8 November 2021: TV hosts Amr Adib and Ahmed Mousa reported Sunday that they were told by sources at the Ministry of Health and Population that Egypt is close to become hepatitis C free and that the announcement would be officially made soon.
100 Million Healthy Lives Initiative was launched in 2018 to screen adults for hepatitis C, and chronic diseases, particularly hypertension, diabetes, and obesity, and provide free treatment to hepatitis C patients through a World Bank loan worth $530 million.
Although the screening was optional, 50 million out of 55 targeted citizens turned up at screening units. As a result, two million were given the treatment making the prevalence rate of hepatitis C drop from seven percent in 2018 to two percent in 2021.
It is noted that even the seven-percent prevalence rate is the fruitful outcome of introducing Gilead’s Sovaldi in October 2014 after striking a deal to acquire the treatment for one percent of its international price at LE2,200 per monthly dose.
Later, 20 local pharmaceutical firms got licenses to produce cheaper generics securing treatment for tens of thousands per annum.
In 2019, the country began screening children aged above 12 years after the screening of adults had concluded in April of the same year.