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Egypt to set up 4 medical centers in Africa: Minister
Published in Ahram Online on 24 - 04 - 2019

Egypt's Minister of Health Hala Zayed said on Wednesday said that Egypt has started setting up four medical care centers in Africa starting with Chad.

The minister said the steps comes within the initiative by Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi for treating one million African nationals from Hepatitis virus C.

The minister also noted the project includes the treatment of all African nationals living in Egypt.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Egypt tweeted late on Tuesday that the country has been offering free checkups and treatment to 11,000 foreigners for hepatitis C.

"The Egyptian Ministry of Health provided virological tests and free treatment for 11,000 foreigners, including refugees and asylum seekers," the tweet read.

Egypt has the unfortunate distinction of ranking first in the world for infection with the hepatitis C virus, with seven million people, or around 10 percent of the population, being infected in 2007. Infection rates in India and China stood at around one percent of their populations at the same time.

In reaction to these alarming figures, the government has launched several programmes to combat and treat hepatitis C, most recently the National Campaign to Eradicate the Hepatitis C Virus and Detect Chronic Diseases launched by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi under the slogan 'Good health for 100 million,' which targets citizens over the age of 18.

The campaign began in October 2018 and aims to eradicate the virus by 2020 and slash death rates from chronic diseases that cause 70 percent of deaths in Egypt.
World Health Organisation (WHO) representative in Egypt John Paul Eissa has praised the campaign, telling a news conference before its launch that although Egypt topped the list of countries with the most people infected with the hepatitis C virus, it also had the greatest capacity to combat it. The campaign was the first of its kind in the region and the world as a whole, he said.

As of January 2018, 221,675 refugees and asylum-seekers were registered in Egypt, with 3,118 newly registered in 2018, according to a new report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Egypt.

The number of Syrian refugees registered with the organization reached 127,414, comprising 57 percent of the total number of refugees registered in the country, according to the report.

In second place came Egypt's neighboring Sudanese refugees with 36,196, followed by Ethiopians with 14,564 and Eritreans with 12,959.

South Sudanese refugees in Egypt totalled 10,518, while there were 6,732 Iraqis registered and 6,714 Somalis.

Other nationalities formed 6,579 of the total population of refugees registered in the country.


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