Egypt has become the first country to achieve the World Health Organization’s “gold tier” status on the path to elimination of Hepatitis C, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus confirmed on Monday.
Dr Tedros issued a certificate on the same to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Cairo.
The feat means that the North African has fulfilled WHO’s programmatic coverage targets that will set the country up to achieve the reduced incidence and mortality targets of full elimination before 2030.
“Egypt’s journey, from having one of the world’s highest rates of Hepatitis C infection to being on the path to elimination in less than 10 years, is nothing short of astounding,” said the WHO chief.
“Egypt is an example to the world of what can be achieved with modern tools, and political commitment at the highest level to use those tools to prevent infections and save lives. Egypt’s success must give all of us hope and motivation to eliminate Hepatitis C everywhere.”
The WHO acknowledged the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population’s commitment to sustaining robust screening, care and treatment services for people with Hepatitis C Virus.
It noted that since Egypt launched its nationwide campaign, – known as the “100 million seha” campaign – which means a 100 million healthy lives – it has resulted in testing over 60 million people and treating more than 4 million people.
On his part, Egyptian President el-Sisi said his administration has dedicated all the means to eradicate Hepatitis C, such as establishing treatment centers, providing the required diagnostic means, preparing cadres, and providing support for the Egyptian industry, which was able to provide millions of doses of drugs, as well as the continued care of patients with complications of the disease and providing them with the highest levels of medical care.
Hepatitis C is a viral infection that affects the liver and can cause both acute and chronic illness. It can be life-threatening, and is is spread through contact with infected blood.