Ahram Online (10.22.12)
With the approval of the Ministry of Health, Egypt’s National Committee for the Control of Viral Hepatitis launched its first national hepatitis C virus (HCV) patient registry on October 18. According to Dr. Wafaa El-Akel, executive manager of the HCV patient registry, Egypt has the highest percentage of HCV infections worldwide. She stated that about 10 percent of Egyptians have HCV infection. Dr. El-Akel noted that the network is important in that it helps assess the extent of issues associated with the virus, helps maintain quality patient care, and prevents infection by analyzing new data and determining the most common means of infection.
Dr. Wahid Doss, dean of the National Liver Institute, noted that the registry ushers in a new era in controlling the disease in Egypt by centralizing records for patients receiving treatment at liver centers nationwide. So far, it contains records of more than 32,000 patients. He anticipates the project will transform HCV treatment by effectively managing resources to get the highest cure rates, closely monitoring patient progress, and tracking the number of injections dispensed to determine patient compliance. Dr. Doss expressed gratitude for Hoffmann La Roche’s support and efforts toward treating HCV in Egypt and the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology.
The National Committee launched the National Project for hepatitis C treatment in 2006, and more than 240,000 patients have been treated at the state’s expense at 23 liver centers nationwide. The Ministry of Health has spent approximately 2 billion Egyptian pounds ($300 million) to support the project and has worked with manufacturing companies to provide globally-approved treatments at the lowest cost worldwide.