Egypt’s Health Minister Ahmed Emad Eddin said on Thursday that 30 million people are to be screened for the Hepatitis C virus by the end of 2018.
The Hepatitis C virus is a blood-borne disease that can damage the liver and lead to deadly complications, such as cirrhosis and cancer.
Eddin noted that the ministry has so far managed to screen 3.6 million people, and that the government has treated 1.23 million patients at a cost of LE3.3 billion, adding that procedures to be treated do not exceed three days.
According to the minister, the cost of treatment per patient fell from LE12,000 to LE1,527, whereas in some neighboring countries it can cost up to $45,000.
Additionally, he stated that the number of treatment centers for the virus increased from 56 to 160.
Regarding rumors that prices of medicine will increase in the coming period, Eddin stressed that there is no intention to do so, claiming that the pharmaceutical market is stable.
Globally, some 700,000 people die every year from liver disease related to Hepatitis C, according to the World Health Organisation.