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Jérôme Salomon: Egypt becomes the 1st country to achieve WHO validation on the path to elimination of Hepatitis C.
Oct 12, 2023, 19:10

Jérôme Salomon: Egypt becomes the 1st country to achieve WHO validation on the path to elimination of Hepatitis C.

Jérôme Salomon, WHO Assistant Director General, shared on LinkedIn:

“Egypt becomes the 1st country to achieve WHO validation on the path to elimination of Hepatitis C.

The World Health Organization congratulates Egypt for its unprecedented progress towards eliminating hepatitis C, becoming the 1st country to achieve “gold tier” status on the path to elimination of hepatitis C as per WHO criteria. Achieving the gold tier means that Egypt has fulfilled the programmatic requirements that facilitate the reduction of new hepatitis C infections and deaths to levels that position the country to end the hepatitis C epidemic.

58 million people are living with chronic hepatitis C infection. While there is no vaccine, the disease can be cured with highly effective and curative short-course treatments that last 8–12 weeks. Globally, however, 4 out of 5 people living with hepatitis C do not know that they are infected. Unless treated or cured, the infection can cause liver disease and cancer.

Egypt has diagnosed 87% of people living with hepatitis C and provided 93% of those diagnosed with curative treatment, exceeding the WHO gold tier targets of diagnosing at least 80% of people living with hepatitis C and providing treatment to at least 70% of diagnosed people.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General says, “Egypt is an example to the world of what can be achieved with modern tools, and political commitment at the highest level to use those tools to prevent infections and save lives.”

Egypt has successfully transitioned from having one of the highest rates of hepatitis C in the world to one of the lowest by reducing the prevalence of hepatitis C from 10% to 0.38% in just over a decade.

Starting in 2014 and reinforced in 2018, the President of Egypt introduced a countrywide campaign to eliminate hepatitis C that offered free testing and treatment for hepatitis C. The 100 million healthy lives campaign resulted in the testing of over 60 million people and treatment of more than 4.1 million people. Locally manufactured direct-acting antiviral treatments were a key factor in the campaign’s remarkable success – a 99% hepatitis C cure rate among people who received treatment.

Through close cooperation with the WHO Country Office in Egypt, and with support from all three levels of the WHO, the Ministry of Health and Population has successfully expanded its financial and technical resources over the years to realize the vision to eliminate hepatitis C as a public health problem.

According to the 2023 WHO Guidance for country validation of viral hepatitis elimination and path to elimination, countries can apply for full validation of gold, silver or bronze tiers on the path to elimination based on achieving relevant targets. Egypt is the first country that applied for validation and achieved gold tier status on the path to elimination, meaning that it is well on its way towards reaching all elimination targets before 2030.”

Source: Jérôme Salomon/LinkedIn