Egyptian Health Minister Hala Zayed announced on Saturday that 50 percent of the target population has been screened for the second phase of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s “100 million healthy lives” initiative to eradicate the Hepatitis C virus and provide detection of noncommunicable diseases.
On the sidelines of her tour of the Port Said governorate, Zayed said that 13.5 million people had been screened in the second phase of the initiative, out of nearly 16 million targeted.
The screening campaign for Hepatitis C began last year, targeting people aged 19 to 59 for scanning through PCR tests. Those testing positive for the disease are expected to undergo further check-ups, and will be provided free medication.
The Ministry of Health warned citizens against refusing to be scanned.
The “Tahya Masr” (Long Live Egypt) Fund announced in an August statement that the Hepatitis C virus in Egypt will be completely eradicated by 2020, through one of the largest medical examinations in human history.
It added that 45 million people will be screened in collaboration with the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) to prevent the disease, and tackle the country’s list of endemic diseases.
Egypt has the highest rate of Hepatitis C in the world, first surfacing in the 1950s due to unsterilized injections. The highly-infectious blood borne virus kills an estimated 40,000 Egyptians a year, and at least 1 in 10 of the population aged 15-59 are infected, according to the WHO.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm