Hepatitis C in Egypt - past, present, and future

Int J Gen Med. 2016 Dec 20;10:1-6. doi: 10.2147/IJGM.S119301. eCollection 2017.


Hepatitis C viral infection is endemic in Egypt with the highest prevalence rate in the world. It is widely accepted that the implementation of mass population antischistosomal treatment involving administration of tartar emetic injections (from 1950s to 1980s) led to widespread infection. What is less well known, however, is that these schemes were implemented by the Egyptian Ministry of Health on the advice of the World Health Organization. There has been a spectrum of treatments to target the public health disaster represented by the hepatitis C problem in Egypt: from the use of PEGylated interferon to the recent use of direct acting antiviral drugs. Some new treatments have shown >90% efficacy. However, cost is a key barrier to access these new medicines. This is coupled with a growing population, limited resources, and a lack of infection control practices which means Egypt still faces significant disease control issues today.

Keywords: Egypt; hepatitis C; schistosomiasis.

Publication types

  • Review