Monday, February 26, 2024

After victory against “Virus C” … Egypt seeks to eliminate the disease in Africa

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On October 9, the World Health Organization, after an official campaign, announced that Egypt was the first country to reach “gold status” on the road to eliminating hepatitis C, also known as “Virus C”, according to the organization’s standards. At the turn of the millennium and reached the Egyptian government launched a national campaign to eradicate the disease in 2014.

But Egypt did not stop there, according to the newspaper report “The New York Times“The United States began to help other African countries get rid of the disease by sending medical aid to treat it.

For 7 years, Sulaiman Musa had been saving part of his little money in the fight against virus C, so the 27-year-old Ghanaian teacher living in Accra had his dreams and ambitions of getting married, building a house or lack of financial resources, starting a private project.

The US newspaper says he had good news last March when his doctor told him that the Ghanaian government had received medical donations, including treatment for hepatitis C, and that he could receive treatment for free. This aid came from Egypt.

In fact, Musa was on the pills within a few weeks, and his blood test in October showed that he was completely cured of the disease.

According to World Health Organization statistics, 58 million people worldwide are living with hepatitis C. According to its official website, although there is no vaccine for this disease, it can be cured with short-term and highly effective treatments lasting 8-12 weeks.

A significant change in Egypt.. WHO supports efforts to combat hepatitis

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Under the slogan “One Life, One Liver”, this year’s World Hepatitis Day highlights the importance of the liver for a healthy life and the need to improve liver health, prevent diseases that affect it, and expand its prevention, screening and treatment. and achieve goals to eliminate it. The year is 2030.

4 out of 5 people worldwide don’t realize they have hepatitis C, and the infection can lead to liver disease or cancer if left untreated or cured.

According to UN figures, Egypt has diagnosed 87 percent of those infected with the disease, and provided curative treatment to 93 percent of those diagnosed, exceeding the standard set for at least 80 diagnostic system gold levels. At least 70 percent of people living with “Virus C” are treated.

A different kind of diplomacy

The New York Times reported that Egypt had not given up on the idea of ​​eliminating the disease within its borders, but instead worked to capitalize on its success in a campaign of “health diplomacy” and pledged to donate medicine and share its expertise. Treating one million patients on the African continent.

Egyptian Health Minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar was quoted by the newspaper as saying that the Egyptian government “saw an opportunity to share its expertise across borders and contribute to international health efforts.” In the treatment of hepatitis, for the greater good of mankind.” and strengthen its position in the international community.

According to World Health Organization statistics, about 300,000 people worldwide die annually from complications of hepatitis C infection, particularly those associated with cirrhosis and liver cancer.

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The organization also said Egypt had gone from a country with one of the world’s highest infection rates to one of the lowest, after reaching 0.38 percent instead of 10 percent in 10 years.

Starting from Ghana

The New York Times explained that Egypt chose Ghana to begin a partnership with the West African country in its response to the disease, considering it investing in building national health care.

Yvonne Ayerke Nartey, a Ghanaian doctor at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, worked to determine the number of victims and their locations in her country. Thanks to medical tests, I discovered that one in 20 people in the north of the country is infected with hepatitis C.

The newspaper added that its next step is to announce the coming treatment of the disease on local radio, Facebook and WhatsApp apps.

The drugs were already on their way from Egypt to Ghana, but the next step was difficult because Ghana has fewer than 20 doctors specializing in liver diseases. Nardi immediately started courses for doctors in each region.

“Most of them have never been treated for hepatitis C before because it’s not treated here,” he told the New York Times.

He explained that the first batch of Egyptian medicines will treat about 46,000 patients, and 300,000 will need treatment: “It’s a big number, but we are ambitious.”

According to the American newspaper, Egypt is working on parallel programs to combat virus C in other African countries such as Sudan and Chad.

Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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