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 – 22 January 2019: Egyptian Health Ministry's National Council for Control of Viral Hepatitis announced that Fayoum, 92 Kilometers southwest of Cairo, records the highest number of students infected with Hepatitis C.
The council affirmed that they will all be treated at the expense of the state's Health Insurance General Authority.
In an interview with Egypt Today, council's member Manal al-Sayed said that 50 percent of students in the first phase of the country's national campaign to detect and treat chronic diseases were checked. She added that a large number of the patients already received treatment without facing any problems.
Egypt's General Authority for Health Insurance will bear the cost of treatment of children infected with HCV, who underwent medical examination nationwide as part of "Egypt's 100 Million Seha" national health initiative.
Sayed said that nearly 600,000 high school students have been examined so far, including 2,000 students whose bodies proved to be containing antibodies to HCV. She added that around 1,000 students have received free treatment so far.
The health official said that the cure rate records 100 percent, adding that cases who do not respond to treatment undergo further procedures.
Sayed said that medical examination of students is strictly confidential. She added that students who test positive for HCV are not directly informed. Instead, school administration later contacts their parents.
Wahid Dous, chairman of the council, said that 6 million students are included in the medical checkup to detect patients with HCV, adding that the first of the three examination phases targeted nearly 1.2 million students.
The duration of treatment of infected cases does not exceed 12 weeks, Dous said, adding that new drugs will be relied on in the coming period.
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.
The national campaign's check-ups include Hepatitis C test, body mass index, and random glucose and blood pressure tests. In January 2019, an official source in the Health Ministry told Egypt Today that citizens will also get the hemoglobin A1c test to help early detection of diabetes, and provide immediate free treatment for diabetic people.