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Preventing hepatitis C virus infection among garbage collectors

IMPLEMENTING NGO
Association for the Protection of the Environment, registered in 1984 under the number 3255 and later registered as a central association in 1994, under No. 263.

PARTNERS
National Hepatology and Tropical Medicine Research Institute (NHTMR) of the Ministry of Health.

Egyptian Liver Care Society.

OBJECTIVE
Reduce the infection with hepatitis C among the garbage collectors, and improve their health conditions.

GEOGRAPHICAL AREA
Areas of garbage collectors in the "Manshiet Nasser and Al-Wehda Al-Wataniya in Cairo.

DURATION
24 months as of November 2009.

STATUS
Accomplished.

Egypt contains the highest prevalence of hepatitis C in the world. Chronic HCV is the main cause of liver cirrhosis and liver cancer in Egypt and, indeed, one of the top five leading causes of death.

This project aims to reduce the infection with hepatitis C virus among garbage collectors in the area of Manshiet Nasser, which has a population of nearly 500,000 and Al-Wehda AL-Watanya (five thousand inhabitants). The Manshiet Nasser dwellers collect and dispose of the city of Cairo’s waste, making a living by sorting the waste materials for reuse or recycling. Garbage collectors suffer from health problems such as hepatitis, due to the low-tech sorting methods used and general poverty.

The project focuses on three main directions: 1) raise awareness among the population of the target area and to promote ways of preventing HCV infection by conducting awareness seminars and door-to-door visits so as to provide healthcare and psychological advice to families with infected persons, 2) perform blood testing and analysis to identify those infected with HCV out of the target number, which not less than 25% of the population of the two regions, and 3) provide the necessary treatment under the medical supervision of the NHTMR and in cooperation with the Egyptian Liver Care Society, with continuous monitoring of cases that have been cured.