An Egyptian doctor makes a test during an unprecedented campaign that aims to test 50 million people to detect and treat hepatitis C patients in a bid to eliminate the disease by 2022, in Cairo, Egypt November 11, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
CAIRO - 16 January 2019: Health official Wahid Dous affirmed that the political leadership directed to carry out a plan to detect and treat hepatitis C, following Egypt's successful national medical model dubbed "100 Million Seha (health)."
In an interview with Egypt Today, Chairman of the Health Ministry's National Council for Control of Viral Hepatitis Wahid Dous said the Egypt has carried out the largest medical campaign to detect Hepatitis C. He added that international delegations received by Health Minister Hala Zayed lauded the first-of-its-kind experiment.
About 65 million people in Africa are infected with Hepatitis B, while 15 million Africans tested positive of Hepatitis C, according to figures by the World Health Organization, with most of the infection cases confirmed, Dous said.
The health minister earlier unveiled an Egyptian initiative to treat African people from Hepatitis C, starting with the Nile Basin countries that have an estimated 3.7 million hepatitis C patients, representing 30 percent of the total number of infected people in Africa.
During a meeting with members of the Parliament's African Affairs Committee headed by Tarek Radwan, on Tuesday, Zayed said that the ministry currently works to help the Nile Basin countries cure the cases that test positive for Hepatitis C and will send medical personnel from the private sector to these states.
This initiative will help spread Egyptian medicine and open markets for it, Zayed said, adding that it offers an opportunity to export medicine to Africa and an opportunity to treat 1 million people infected with the blood-borne disease in the Nile Basin countries.
Zayed also urged benefiting from the Egyptian medical initiatives, including the "100 Million Seha" campaign, and the campaign to eliminate waiting lists. She expressed keenness to launch similar initiatives in the Nile Basin countries.
The minister confirmed that Cairo provides treatment for Hepatitis C for patients for only $50-$120 per patient, asserting that treatments in other countries can cost the patient between $28,000 and $80,000. She also stressed she is contacting international bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) to cover the cost of medicine in these countries.
In January 2018, Egypt has been elected as chair of the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government for a one-year term in 2019.
Becoming a role model for the African nations, Egypt, under President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi's rule, has launched the "100 Million Seha" campaign to detect and treat for free locals infected with chronic diseases including Hepatitis C and Diabetes.
On January 13, Khaled Megahed, Health Ministry spokesman, said that 27 million citizens have undergone examination of Hepatitis C since the beginning of the campaign, which was launched by a presidential decree in October 2018.