Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

WHO Commends Egypt's Remarkable Global Achievement in Eradicating Hepatitis C

Thu 02 May 2024 | 02:03 PM
Ahmed Emam

Dr. Nima Abed, the World Health Organization (WHO) representative in Egypt, commended Egypt for its remarkable global achievement in eradicating hepatitis C, making it the first country to attain the gold tier in this endeavor. Additionally, Dr. Abed applauded Egypt's successful efforts in eliminating measles and rubella.

Dr. Abed's remarks came in an interview with Mohamed El Koossy, Deputy Director of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Cairo, during a new episode of the United Nations in Egypt podcast, “Voices of Impact,” which UNIC recently launched on the occasion of World Health Day on health rights and the importance of mental health along with physical health. 

He emphasized the importance of recognizing health as a fundamental human right, as outlined in the constitutions of many countries, including Egypt. He stressed that health encompasses not only physical well-being but also mental and social well-being.

The WHO representative noted that Egypt has achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first nation to attain the gold tier gold on the path to eliminating hepatitis C. "The Arab Republic of Egypt was awarded a certificate by WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during his visit to Cairo last October," the official remarked.

Dr. Abed outlined the rigorous requirements set by the WHO for achieving this status, including testing 80% of the population and treating 70% of those infected. Egypt surpassed these targets, testing over 86.7% and treating more than 94% of those infected, alongside ensuring blood and injection safety standards.

Moreover, he shed light on the pivotal role played by the WHO in providing technical support to Egypt's Ministry of Health and Population, facilitating the country's progress towards hepatitis C elimination. 

The WHO official underscored the collaborative efforts between WHO's country office, regional offices, and headquarters, leveraging all available resources to support Egypt's health sector. While Egypt's achievement in eliminating measles and rubella was also acknowledged, the spotlight remained on the remarkable feat of hepatitis C elimination, marked by a substantial drop from 10% to below 0.5% prevalence rate.

Dr. Abed also touched upon Egypt's efforts in pharmaceutical control and humanitarian aid, particularly in providing healthcare support to refugees from Gaza and Sudan. 

He further emphasized the importance of robust health systems in addressing humanitarian crises and highlighted ongoing collaborations with international partners, including a recent agreement with the Government of Japan to support healthcare services for Gaza. “Without a strong health system in Egypt, it would have been difficult to provide health services to refugees, whether from Sudan, Gaza, or other places,” he said.

The PODCAST concluded with a discussion on global pandemic preparedness, with Dr. Abed highlighting the importance of proactive measures and international cooperation in addressing future health crises. He emphasized the need for equitable access to vaccines and medicines, underscoring Egypt's role in regional health initiatives. “One of the flagship programs of the WHO is how to obtain medicines and vaccines as quickly as possible to achieve self-sufficiency in the region, and Egypt is one of the countries that has the ability to play this role of self-sufficiency in Egypt and also provide assistance to neighbouring Arab countries and the rest of the region,” Dr. Abed stressed.