Egypt’s Campaign against Viral Hepatitis
As Egypt continues to grapple with the proliferation of the hepatitis C virus, fresh treatment, prevention and market access pathways are now being applied.
Given the severity of Egypt’s hepatitis C epidemic, the national campaign against viral hepatitis remains Egypt’s top healthcare priority. According to Roche’s regional general manager, Ehab Yousef, hepatitis constitutes the therapeutic category with the largest budget within the Ministry of Health and the Health Insurance Organization, and Minister of Health Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady affirms that one of his primary tasks as minister relates to “driving and strengthening the national campaign against the hepatitis C virus, which is has reached epidemic proportions in the country.” Moreover, as Abbvie’s Amjad Laimoun indicates, “the level of the government’s commitment is very strong, as fighting Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is the president’s highest healthcare priority; in fact, the president has been involved in several initiatives himself.”
Former Minister of Health, Adel Adawy, explains that he has “always maintained the strong belief that treatment alone is not enough, given that this particular epidemic arose due to a lack of preventative protocols.” Today, the majority of new Egyptian hepatitis C infections occur within medical facilities, and Adawy regards his introduction of the new Action Plan for Prevention Care and Treatment as a major legacy of his administration, comprising a holistic and comprehensive approach that encompassed seven mutually reinforcing pillars: infection control, injection safety, blood safety, screening methodology, communication strategy, awareness campaign, and scientific research. It is with this plan that he hopes Egypt can soon “reach a tipping point where the number of patients undergoing treatment surpasses than becoming newly infected.”