The evening of Thursday 3 August 2017 saw the Giza pyramids and the sphinx light up in green for an hour in solidarity with hepatitis C patients.
The move came in coordination with the Ministries of Antiquities and Health, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank.
According to WHO, worldwide rates of prevalence of hepatitis C in 2008 were 2 -3 per cent whereas it was 10 per cent in Egypt. By 2015, Egypt managed to bring the rate down to 4.4 per cent, a major accomplishment publicly applauded by WHO.
Minister of Health Ahmed Emad Eddin Radi said that 130 million citizens have been treated so far, whether in the centres affiliated to the National Committee for Control of Viral Hepatitis (NCCVH) or at the cost of the governmental health insurance with some EGP3 billion and 300 million.
He pointed out that Egypt has become a leader among world in the treatment of the hepatitis “C” in terms of providing the treatment to the public with adequate prices. He declared that the cost of treatment used to be USD12,000 per patient and it was big challenge to reduce the prices. After arduous negotiations, the Health Ministry succeeded in providing the treatment at the price of EGP1,527 per patient, including all necessary tests, with the State bearing the full cost.
He said that the ministry began the second phase of fighting hepatitis “C” by tracking the disease in patients who do not know that they carry the disease, since the disease is latent and the patient may not know he or she is infected.
He also said that a systematic plan is now in place to target the testing of six categories of Egyptians for hepatitis C. These include university students, patients in governmental hospitals, government hospital staff, blood bank donators, central laboratories visitors, and prisoners.
6 August 2017