Over 890,000 citizens across nine governorates have undergone medical screening for the hepatitis C virus (HCV), during the first week of the ‘100 million health’ initiative, said Minister of Health Hala Zayed during a press conference on Sunday.
Phase one of the state-sponsored initiative, under the title of ‘100 million health’, started last Monday, will continue until the end of November.
Initial results of citizens’ turnout during the first days of the campaign showed that the highest rates of participation were tracked in Beheira governorate. It further revealed that youngsters were the ones to most likely undergo the screening, than any other age group.
“Participants aged between 26 to 45 years were the highest group to undergo the screening. In terms of gender, females were the majority by 52%, while 42% for men,” Zayed said.
The campaign aims to provide free-of-charge screening for all citizens, and treatment for the infected, as well as screening for non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, and blood pressure. In January, the Ministry of Health announced the launch of the largest medical screening campaign for HCV across the nation.
The second phase will begin from December 2018 to February 2019 in 11 governorates, while the third phase is yet to be decided.
Moreover, Zayed noted that the ministry is also planning to offer HCV screening for children under 18-years-old, during the second semester of the current educational year.
The Ministry of Health is keen to reduce the incidence of HCV to less than 2%. This initiative came as part of the state’s attempts to improve the health condition in the country, which had suffered deterioration for long years.
Egypt is among the nations most affected by HCV, and needs a comprehensive diagnosis of HCV epidemiology, to inform the scale of treatment and prevention programmes, according to a study published in scientific reports.