Egypt s health ministry has tested around half of the country s population so far for hepatitis C as part of an unprecedented campaign to eradicate the disease by 2022.
More than 43 million people have been screened as part of the 100 Million Lives campaign, 12 million of whom have been tested since the beginning of March, Health Minister Hala Zayed said in a statement on Thursday.
The campaign, which runs from October to April, aims to test and offer free treatment to the country s entire adult population, estimated at around 60 million people. It aims to completely eliminate hepatitis C by 2022.
The campaign also tests for diabetes and high blood pressure.
The third and final phase of the campaign, which started earlier in March and runs until April, covers seven governorates and has so far reached 170 percent of the intended daily target for testing.
Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by a blood-borne virus. If left untreated, the disease can be self-limiting or can progress to cirrhosis or liver cancer.
As of 2015, some 22 percent of Egypt s population had hepatitis C and the disease was the cause for 7.6% of all deaths in the country.
However, over the past three years, Egypt has been using a variety of new medications to combat the disease.
In 2016, the health ministry announced it had achieved a 96 percent cure rate of the disease nationwide.
Citizens are invited to submit their inquiries or complaints through the campaign s hotline (15335) or the official website: www.stophcv.eg.