26 January 2021 10:32 PM

Health min. to MENA editor-in-chief: President Sisi's health initiatives receive int'l acclaim

Saturday، 25 January 2020 - 11:54 AM

Health and Population Minister Hala Zayed asserted that President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s initiatives to provide healthcare to Egyptian citizens received international acclaim.

The initiatives are the 100 Million Healthy Lives initiative and the comprehensive healthcare insurance initiative, which President Sisi gave directives to swiftly implement them after she was sworn in as the health and population minister in June 2018, the minister said.

In an interview with MENA Board Chairman and Editor-in-Chief Ali Hassan, Zayed said that President Sisi's initiatives received universal acclaim from the international community, the World Health Organization and international bodies.

Egypt's population surpasses 100 million people, in addition to millions of residents of different nationalities, Zayed said, adding that they are in need of healthcare services.

She added that the public health initiatives include the "100 million healthy lives" initiative, which is Egypt's largest campaign for scanning Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

The NCDs, including obesity, blood pressure, diabetes and others, are currently the leading national cause of death in Egypt, she said, noting that NCDs are estimated to account for 83% of all deaths in Egypt.

As part of President Sisi's directives to eliminate patient waiting lists, around 17,888 citizens underwent surgeries in just 62 days, Zayed added.

She went on to say that President Sisi's directives included adding critical cases in need of an urgent medical intervention to the patient waiting lists.

Some 305 public and private hospitals are involved in the presidential initiative, the health minister said, noting that the patient has to wait for only 17 days to perform a surgery, compared to 400 days previously.

She also referred to another successful presidential initiative on the early detection of obesity, dwarfism and anemia diseases for school children, saying that several medical centers were established nationwide to provide the best treatment and health care for those children.

Among those initiatives was a public health action for the early diagnosis of hearing loss, as well as cochlear implants for children with special needs, the minister added.

Zayed shed light on the women's health initiative, which includes the early detection of breast cancer and noncommunicable diseases, in addition to reproductive health problems.

Of 5 million women, 3,800 have been diagnosed with breast cancer, the minister said, noting that this disease is the second leading cause of death among Egyptian women.

Regarding the newly-launched comprehensive health insurance system, Zayed said that nearly 55% of citizens have been registered in Port Said.

The first phase covers six governorates (Port Said, Ismailia, Aswan, Suez, and South Sinai) with a total cost of EGP 1.5 billion.

The second phase will be launched from 2020 to 2023 in Luxor, Matrouh, the Red Sea, Qena and Aswan governorates.

The third phase, from 2024 to 2026, will cover Alexandria, Beheira, Damietta, Sohag and Kafr El-Sheikh.

The fourth, from 2026 to 2028, will kick off in Beni Sweif, Assiut, Minya, the New Valley and Fayoum.

The fifth phase, from 2029 to 2030, will cover Daqahliya, Sharqiya, Gharbiya and Menoufiya.

The last phase, from 2031 to 2032, will cover Cairo, Giza and Qalioubiya.

The total cost of the six-phase new system is expected to hit EGP 230 billion nationwide, Zayed added.

The health minister noted that Egypt will be declared Hepatitis C-free country within the next few months.

Zayed asserted that her ministry succeeded during the past period in securing dairy, serums and medicines in the local market.

She revealed that several local pharmaceutical companies are now manufacturing all types of insulin and oncology drugs.

Asked about the health cooperation between Egypt and African countries, Zayed pointed to the presidential initiative to treat one million Africans, saying that the Health Ministry equipped 18 medical centers in Sudan for curing Sudanese people infected with hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

She went on to say that a dialysis center and another ophthalmology center, as well as a medical facility for curing hepatitis C were set up in Chad.

She added that maternal and child health care centers were erected in Somalia, in addition to the establishment of several kidney and ophthalmology treatment centers in South Sudan.

As for the Health Ministry's strategy to promote the medical education, the minister said the state attaches great importance to qualifying health cadres, adding all doctors assigned to hospital should get a fellowship program.


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