Egypt’s Gold-Level Success in Confronting Virus C: The Path to Eliminating Hepatitis C

2023-10-11 11:13:22

How did Egypt achieve the “gold level” in confronting Virus C?

Questions have been raised in Egypt regarding the implications of Cairo’s efforts to combat Hepatitis C, after it obtained a “gold level” certificate from the World Health Organization for its path in eliminating hepatitis C.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi received the “gold level” certificate from the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom, on Monday, in the presence of the Egyptian Minister of Health and Population, Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, and senior officials and leaders of the organization.

The official spokesman for the Egyptian presidency, Ahmed Fahmy, said that the Director-General of the World Health Organization spoke about “Egypt’s success story in transforming from being the country with the highest rates of infection with Hepatitis C to the first country in the world to reach this distinguished level in eliminating… “The virus.”

Adhanom pointed out that “this achievement would not have been achieved without the complete commitment that he personally felt from President Sisi towards this file, and health files in general, which was demonstrated in the careful personal follow-up, sound planning, and serious work undertaken by the health system in Egypt in this regard.” , through the Presidential Initiative to Eliminate Hepatitis C,” while the organization explained in a statement that “reaching the (gold level) means that Egypt has fulfilled the requirements that lead to reducing infections and deaths to levels that qualify it to eliminate the disease.”

Al-Sisi with the World Health Organization delegation (Egyptian Presidency)

President of the Egyptian Liver Cancer Society, and former member of the National Committee for Combating Hepatitis Viruses, Ashraf Omar, said, “(The gold level) is a certificate of success for Egypt, meaning that the health service system, especially with regard to Hepatitis C, has reached an advanced stage.”

Omar added to Asharq Al-Awsat that Egypt was the first country in the number of infections with Hepatitis C in the world, and that it is also becoming the first country in the world in getting rid of the disease, this is a “major achievement,” explaining that “Egypt has gotten rid of a health problem that could It is classified as (national security); Because it does not only affect health aspects, but also affects social and economic aspects, affects production, and costs the state billions in diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up to treat the consequences of the virus.”

Omar also believed that Egypt “reached this achievement thanks to three factors: the political will that provided the necessary support, the health infrastructure spread throughout the country, and the medical personnel that supervised diagnosis and treatment throughout the health system with great efficiency.”

The Egyptian specialist points out what he described as the “password” in the Egyptian achievement, which is “negotiating with international pharmaceutical companies to provide treatments for the virus locally,” noting that these steps made Egypt “provide treatment for Hepatitis C to all Egyptians infected with the disease for free.” In addition to conducting a comprehensive survey of Egyptians to ensure that they are free of the disease, this survey was the largest in the world conducted by a country to discover a specific disease, and this enabled the health system to discover and treat those infected for free, and thus got rid of the C virus.

Globally, there are 58 million people living with chronic hepatitis C infection, and although there is no vaccine against the disease; “It can be cured by taking short-term and highly effective treatments that last from 8 to 12 weeks,” according to researchers, but there are 4 out of 5 people living with HCV in the world who do not realize that they are infected, and this infection can cause Liver disease or cancer, unless treated or cured.

The Egyptian President during a meeting with the World Health Organization delegation (Egyptian Presidency)

The World Health Organization revealed in its statement that “Egypt diagnosed 87 percent of people living with HCV, and provided treatment to 93 percent of those diagnosed with it, which exceeds the goals set for the organization’s gold level, which is diagnosing at least 80 percent of those living with HCV.” disease, and providing treatment to at least 70 percent of those diagnosed with it.”

According to the organization, “Egypt has succeeded in moving from a country with one of the highest rates of Hepatitis C infection in the world to a country with one of the lowest rates, by reducing the spread of the virus from 10 percent to less than one percent (0.38) in a period of more than A little over a decade.”

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