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Egypt, hepatitis C champion


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Egypt is a world class champion in the fight against hepatitis C, a disease that wreaked havoc among its populations.

In 2008, a national study found that nearly 10% of Egyptians had hepatitis C, the highest rate in the world. Each year, nearly 50,000 Egyptians die from the effects of HCV virus, including cancer and cirrhosis of the liver.

This disease became an epidemic because of the unwillingness of the government of Egypt, supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), to massively vaccinate the population. From the 1950s until the early 1980s, Egyptians were stung several times a year. The needle of the syringe was cleaned with a cotton cloth soaked in alcohol between each patient and was changed only when it was blunt.

Beginning in the 1980s, the disposable syringe was over-the-counter but the virus continued to proliferate due to neglect and ignorance or by birth since HCV is transmissible from mother to child.
Egypt has managed to fight hepatitis C by combining goodwill, diplomacy, industry and money.

 In the late 1990s, several doctors began to open voluntary centers to try to stem the evil. The State began to act from 2006. But the main problem was the prohibitive price of interferon-based medicines and their limited efficacy against endemic hepatitis in Egypt.

Source: RFI Africa