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Establishing a Viral Hepatitis Unit in the Suez Fever Hospital

IMPLEMENTING AGENCIES
Sawiris Foundation for Social Development – responsible for the management of the project’s fund, granted by Orascom Construction Industries, and providing all technical assistance needed for the implementation of the project including the following up, supervision and ongoing assessment of the outputs of the project’s activities.

Orascom Construction Industries – provides the project’s fund, estimated at about 10 million pounds, and responsible for the civil and construction works of the establishment of the project headquarters.

National Hepatology and Tropical Medicine Research Institute (NHTMR) of the Ministry of Health – The NHTMR, the headquarters of the National Committee for the Control of Viral Hepatitis,  is competent to provide substantive and technical support in the field of liver disease, and in charge of training the Unit’s team of new doctors, nurses, technicians and administrators.

Suez Directorate of Health Affairs – responsible for providing a separate building belonging to the hospital to be the Viral Hepatitis Unit, supplying the unit with human cadres needed for its operation, and assist in the awareness and vaccination campaigns.

OBJECTIVES
Provide diagnostic and treatment services for patients with hepatitis C virus in the governorate of Suez and the surrounding areas through the use of antiviral therapy.

Launch awareness of prevention methods and the risk of viral infection.

Provide free vaccinations against hepatitis B virus for those born in 1999 or less (an age group that did not receive the compulsory vaccination imposed by the Ministry of Health under its national program of vaccination).

Educate and train a new cadre of hematologists and technicians to upgrade the  level of health care provided by the Ministry of Health for patients with viral diseases.

GEOGRAPHICAL AREA
Suez Governorate.

DURATION
The project extends over three years, its first phase begins in July 2010 to June 2011, which includes all the preparatory activities and the beginning of providing the medical services.

STATUS
Accomplished.

Dealing with the issue of Viral Hepatitis is now seen as a global problem that deserves international support. The World Health Organization has declared  hepatitis C a pandemic disease like malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis, with approximately 3% of the world’s population (roughly 170-200 million people) infected with HCV.

In Egypt the situation is quite worse. Egypt contains the highest prevalence of hepatitis C in the world.  Demographic studies have shown that some 9.8 per cent of the Egyptian population is infected with the hepatitis C virus, and the number of infected citizens may have reached nine million, making it a detrimental national problem to the Egyptian economy. This is a public health emergency.

However, hope may now be on its way. In order to deal with the threat of such diseases, the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development has funded several projects aimed at the resistance and the treatment of viral hepatitis diseases in different areas of the governorates of Egypt. One of those funded projects is the establishment of a Viral Hepatitis Unit in the Suez Fever Hospital at a total cost estimated at about 10 million pounds, granted by Orascom Construction Industries. The project is implemented in collaboration with the National Hepatology and Tropical Medicine Research Institute under the supervision of the Ministry of Health.

The services provided by the project will target the hepatic patients who are treated with alfa interferon at the expense of the State. The provision of treatment services is free of charge and includes the full investigations for interferon therapy, endoscopy, ultrasonography and liver biopsy. By the end of the fund, the Viral Hepatitis Unit will continue to operate like other units affiliated to the National Committee for the Control of Viral Hepatitis.