Progress toward prevention and control of hepatitis C virus infection--Egypt, 2001-2012

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2012 Jul 27;61(29):545-9.


Worldwide, 130-170 million persons are living with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, which, if left untreated, can result in cirrhosis and liver cancer. Egypt has the largest burden of HCV infection in the world, with a 10% prevalence of chronic HCV infection among persons aged 15-59 years. HCV transmission in Egypt is associated primarily with inadequate infection control during medical and dental care procedures. In response, the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population (MOHP) in 2001 implemented a program to reduce health-care-associated HCV transmission and in 2008 launched a program to provide care and treatment. This report describes the progress of these programs, identifies deficiencies, and recommends enhancements, including the establishment of a comprehensive national viral hepatitis control program. Infection control programs implemented in 2001 at MOHP facilities resulted in improvements in infection control practices and a decrease in the annual incidence of HCV infection among dialysis patients from 28% to 6%. Through June 2012, a total of 23 hepatitis treatment facilities had been established in Egypt, providing care and treatment to nearly 190,000 persons with chronic HCV infection. Despite these programs, Egypt continues to face an ongoing hepatitis C epidemic. A comprehensive plan is needed to prevent and control hepatitis C in Egypt. This plan should address increasing community awareness and education, preventing of HCV infection in health-care settings, ensuring a safe blood supply, establishing surveillance and monitoring to track the effectiveness of control programs, and providing care and treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Egypt / epidemiology
  • Health Facilities
  • Hepatitis C / epidemiology*
  • Hepatitis C / prevention & control*
  • Hepatitis C / transmission
  • Humans
  • Iatrogenic Disease / epidemiology
  • Iatrogenic Disease / prevention & control*
  • Incidence
  • Infection Control / methods*
  • National Health Programs
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prevalence
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects