Health Ministry: 7.5mn Egyptians infected with Hepatitis C

The Ministry of Health has announced that LE61 million was spent last month on the anti-viral drug Interferon, which is used to treat Hepatatis C. Approximately 7.5 million Egyptians are infected with the virus, according to the Health Ministry.

Hesham Sheeha, Health Ministry deputy and supervisor of the specialized medical councils, said the LE61 million was a 22 percent increase over the previous month.

During a press conference held by the National Committee for Liver diseases, Dr. Waheed Dous, head of the National Institute for Liver and Communicable Diseases, said that a national virus survey was held by Health Ministry in collaboration with United Nations Children’s Fund and the US Agency for International Development in 27 governorates over the past three years. The survey  revealed that infection rate in Egypt had reached 9.8 percent. While the infection rate remains low, at three percent, in the 15 to 30 age range, it increases drastically among Egyptians over 50, with up to 25 percent infected in some governorates.

Manal Hamdi el-Sayyed, a pediatrics professor at Cairo University, said that more than 60,000 citizens have been vaccinated against Hepitatis B. El-Sayyed said that the first phase of the project aims to vaccinate everyone born since 1992.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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