File - African man holding a syringe - Reuters/Soe Zeya Tun
CAIRO - 20 March 2019: Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli held a meeting on Tuesday with Minister of Health Hala Zayed to follow up on applying the recent directives issued by the president to include 1 million African citizens in a national initiative to treat hepatitis C.
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi's initiative, announced during the Arab and African Youth Platform recently held in Aswan, also includes refugees residing in Egypt, Madbouli affirmed during the meeting.
Zayed reviewed her ministry's plan to implement the initiative, noting that embassies will be notified of hospitals conducting the HCV test to inform their nationals in Egypt.
Some 7 million refugees should undergo the HCV test, the minister said, noting that two hospitals in each governorate will be conducting the examinations.
The Health Ministry is also acting to send medical convoys to African states to run the HCV tests, Zayed told Madbouli.
Zayed also explained the progress the ministry could achieve concerning the elimination of waiting lists and performing surgeries. She pointed out that the number of surgeries has increased from 12,000 a month to 11,600 in 11 days only.
The minister also affirmed the availability of medicines and medical supplies. She pointed out that 6 million milk bottles for children are stored; this amount is enough for the next 4 months.
Polio, parasitic worms
About 16 million children with ages ranging from 1 day to 5 years were vaccinated in February against poliomyelitis (polio), said Zayed, explaining that the ministry has carried out several initiatives to protect the health of children and Egyptians in general.
Zayed also launched the second phase of the national campaign to eliminate intestinal parasite infection among Egyptian children. The minister headed to al-Kasr al-Einy school in Cairo to give the treatment dose to the students herself.
The second phase will end on March 28, targeting supplying 4 million students with Mebendazole (an anti-worm medication).
The 11 Egyptian governorates targeted in the second phase include Cairo, Suez, Ismailia, Kafr El-Sheikh, Menoufia, Beni Suef, Sohag, Luxor, Aswan, Red Sea, and North Sinai.
Suheir Abdel Hamid, head of the General Authority for Health Insurance, told Egypt Today that medical check-ups targeting the early detection of breast tumors continue in the governorates of Luxor, Alexandria and Cairo in six hospitals. She added that another two phases will be launched soon.
The medical examination for all the cases is free of charge, Abdel Hamid said, adding that surgeries to remove tumors are also performed for free.The General Authority for Health Insurance is providing chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment, if required, for free, Abdel Hamid noted.
A number of 1,400 women have been examined so far, including 15 cases that tested positive for breast cancer, Abdel Hamid said.
She added that the authority has allocated the hotline 106 for advance booking for the breast cancer tests in its hospitals in Luxor, Alexandria and Cairo for citizens falling under the umbrella of health insurance.