The Ministry of Health has treated 850,000 patients who contracted Hepatitis C and were on hospital waiting lists across several governorates since September 2014, according to a statement. Minister of Health Ahmed Emad is to submit a report about the treatment of Hepatitis C patients to the president Thursday.
As of Friday, all patients who register online with the National Committee for the Control of Viral Hepatitis (NCCVH) will receive medication immediately. There will be no more waiting lists, the statement read.
Since the project began in September 2014, an average of 103,000 Hepatitis C patients registered on the NCCVH website daily. Now, with the project’s success, this number has declined to 400 patients daily.
The ministry relied on funding from the Health Insurance Authority budget, a state-funded treatment fund, and the Tahiya Misr fund in order to cover the health expenses of patients on the waiting list, which reached EGP 2.5bn in total.
It has also expanded the scale of medical centres that can treat Hepatitis C by inaugurating new centres over the past eight months, thus increasing the total number of centres in Egypt from 53 to 153.
Moreover, the ministry said it depended on the locally-manufactured version of an imported Hepatitis C medicine named Solvadi which costs EGP 2,200. The Egyptian manufactured medicine only costs EGP 449.
As of May 2015, approximately 15 million Egyptians have been diagnosed with Hepatitis C, according to World Health Organisation (WHO) studies. Egypt also ranked as the nation with the highest Hepatitis C infection rate.
According to the WHO, Hepatitis C is transmitted through unexamined blood transfusions, multiple using of syringes, reusing of medical equipment and poor sterilisation, and sexual intercourse.