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Preparatory School Students Receive Free Hepatitis C Tests

The free tests are part of the Ministry of Health and Population’s mission to eliminate the virus in Egypt altogether.

Cairo Scene

Preparatory School Students Receive Free Hepatitis C Tests

The Ministry of Health and Population is providing free Hepatitis C (HCV) tests to primary and middle school students, in a continued effort to reduce the prevalence of the virus, eventually aiming to eliminate it in Egypt altogether.

The tests, which are carried out by specialised medical teams, are timed so as not to interrupt students’ education, and can only be done following explicit parental consent. Early detection and treatment of HCV is vital, as 80% of people with the virus do not know they are infected. If left untreated, HCV can cause liver disease and even cancer.

The ministry has reduced the prevalence of Hepatitis C in Egypt from 10% to just 0.38% over the course of a decade, transforming the country from having one of the world’s highest rates of HCV to one of the lowest. As such, the World Health Organisation (WHO) awarded Egypt ‘gold status’ in its efforts to combat the virus, the first country in the world to receive such an accreditation.