Egypt to Expand Hepatitis C Campaign to 14 African Countries
We all know of Egypt’s ongoing nationwide medical campaign, launched in October 2018, to test and examine Egyptians for hepatitis C and non-communicable diseases through Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests. Argentinian football star, Lionel Messi, previously stated on his Facebook page in a Spanish and English post, “Having cured more than one million patients, Egypt is leading the world in the fight against hepatitis C.” Hepatitis C currently has no vaccine, according to Medical News Today. However, there are available treatments for hepatitis C that can often cure the disease, but they can be quite costly and take weeks of treatment.
Last week, in the opening of the African Hepatitis Summit that took place in Uganda, Egypt’s Minister of Health, Hala Zayed, stated that the Egypt will provide medical examinations and treatment for hepatitis C to one million people in 14 African countries! According to Egypt Independent, the initiative will be implemented, in cooperation with the World Health Organization, in the African countries suffering the most from the disease, including Burundi, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Tanzania, Somalia, Southern Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.
We were shocked to find out that more than 200,000 people lose their lives every year in Africa, due to complications caused by liver diseases associated with hepatitis B and C, such as liver cancer. Out of the 10 million infected African victims, an estimated number of 40,000 Egyptians die annually. On a more positive note, a few months ago Egypt Today stated that more than 45 million citizens have been detected so far, thanks to the “100 Million Healthy Lives” initiative, which aims to eliminate the disease in Egypt by 2022.
Egypt has the highest rate of hepatitis C in the world, commonly as a result of unsterilised injections, and it has been affecting our country since the 1950s. It’s time to bring a stop to the spread of this viral infection and save our people and African neighbours.