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Health

Egypt، once top Hepatitis C sufferer، draws cure seekers

Sada El Balad
Like millions in Egypt، Ahmed Nada suffered silently from Hepatitis C. But the country is turning from the world's most afflicted by the disease to a global destination for those seeking a cure.

Nada، 31، only learned that he carried the virus when he tried to donate blood.

"At first I was very angry،" he said. "I kept thinking whether it was from my previous work as a dentist، or from the barber or from what? I didn't know."

Previously، a Hepatitis C infection، even when diagnosed، would have gone untreated or simply been managed.

But a cheap new drug produced in Egypt since 2015 and a government programme to eliminate the condition meant Nada could be easily cured.

He registered on a government website and was directed to the nearest treatment centre.

Now cured along with more than 1.3 million other Egyptians، Nada says the entire process was simple "from the moment I filled in the application".

Egypt has the highest prevalence of Hepatitis C infection in the world، an epidemic that started with a government programme for mass vaccinations with unsterilised syringes in the 1950s.

Seven percent of people aged between 15 and 59 have an active infection، according to Egypt's 2015 Demographics and Health Surveys. -AFP




Edited by Ahmed Mohsen

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