In statements on the occasion of World Hepatitis Day on Tuesday, the health minister said that since the launch of the initiative by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi in July 2018, Egypt managed to finalize screening millions of people for free in just seven months.
The initiative falls within the framework of upgrading the health system in Egypt, improving the general health of citizens, implementing the "Egyptian Person Building Strategy" and achieving the Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS): Egypt Vision 2030, she added.
Spokesman for the Health Ministry Khalid Megahed said that the president's initiative also covered school students, citing the examination of 7 million students in January 2019 as part of the campaign.
Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised the Egyptian experiment in fighting Hepatitis C, describing the campaign as the "largest anti-Hepatitis C campaign ever in the world".
The scan includes more than 60 million Egyptian and non-Egyptian citizens, he said, adding it managed to spot and treat patients with Hepatitis C virus and other diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes.
All examinations and treatment were done for free, he noted.
For his part, WHO Representative in Egypt John Jabbour said that in spite of the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Egypt succeeded in maintaining the continuity of healthcare services provided for hepatitis C and B patients.
World Hepatitis Day is commemorated each year on July 28 to enhance awareness of viral hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver that causes a range of health problems, including liver cancer.
There are five main strains of the hepatitis virus – A, B, C, D and E. Together, hepatitis B and C are the most common cause of deaths, with 1.3 million lives lost each year. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, viral hepatitis continues to claim thousands of lives every day.
This year’s theme is "Hepatitis-free future," with a strong focus on preventing hepatitis B among mothers and newborns.