Almost 38,000 Africans examined under Egypt’s hepatitis C initiative

Almost 38,000 Africans examined under Egypt’s hepatitis C initiative
Egyptian laborers line up for an examination check-up for Hepatitis C, at a construction site in Egypt's new "administrative capital", some 40 kms east of Cairo. (AFP/File Photo)
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Updated 26 November 2020

Almost 38,000 Africans examined under Egypt’s hepatitis C initiative

Almost 38,000 Africans examined under Egypt’s hepatitis C initiative
  • Part of President El-Sisi's initiative to help protect 1 million Africans from the disease
  • Initiative was launched in March 2019

CAIRO: Egypt’s Minister of Health and Population Dr. Hala Zayed said on Thursday that 37,961 African citizens from South Sudan, Chad and Eritrea have so far been examined as part of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi's initiative to help protect 1 million Africans from hepatitis C, which he launched in March 2019.

As well as examining patients, the Egyptian medical team is training local medical teams in the three countries, providing knowledge from Egypt’s experience of eliminating hepatitis C, detecting non-communicable diseases, and treatment protocols.

The Ministry of Health said 11,964 citizens had been examined in South Sudan, 15,997 in Chad, and 10,000 in Eritrea, adding that free treatment was provided for those who were infected.

Three tons of medical aid — including medicines to treat hepatitis C and B, detectors, and medical equipment — has also been sent to South Sudan, where more than 1,000 citizens were examined in the first week of operations at a new hepatic virus unit at the Egyptian clinic in Juba.


Hundreds protest police repression in Tunisia

Hundreds protest police repression in Tunisia
Updated 25 min 7 sec ago

Hundreds protest police repression in Tunisia

Hundreds protest police repression in Tunisia
  • Saturday’s protests come as the North African nation struggles to stem the novel coronavirus pandemic
  • The government on Saturday extended a night-time curfew from 8 p.m. (1900 GMT) to 5 a.m. and banned gatherings until February 14

TUNIS: Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of Tunisian cities on Saturday to protest police repression, corruption and poverty, following several nights of unrest marked by clashes and arrests.
Saturday’s protests come as the North African nation struggles to stem the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has crippled the economy and threatened to overwhelm hospitals.
Over 6,000 people have died from Covid-19 in Tunisia, with a record 103 deaths reported on Thursday.
The government on Saturday extended a night-time curfew from 8 p.m. (1900 GMT) to 5 a.m. and banned gatherings until February 14.
But protesters took to the streets in several parts of the country, including the capital Tunis and the marginalized interior region of Gafsa, to demand the release of hundreds of young people detained during several nights of unrest since January 14.
“Neither police nor Islamists, the people want revolution,” chanted demonstrators in a crowd of several hundred in Tunis, where one person was wounded in brief clashes amid a heavy police presence.
Protests were also held in the coastal city of Sfax on Friday.
Much of the unrest has been in working class neighborhoods, where anger is boiling over soaring unemployment and a political class accused of having failed to deliver good governance, a decade after the 2011 revolution that toppled long-time dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
Economic misery exacerbated by novel coronavirus restrictions in the tourism-reliant nation have pushed growing numbers of Tunisians to try to leave the country.
“The situation is catastrophic,” said Omar Jawadi, 33, a hotel sales manager, who has been paid only half his salary for months.
“The politicians are corrupt, we want to change the government and the system.”
The police have said more than 700 people were arrested over several nights of unrest earlier this week that saw young people hurl rocks and petrol bombs at security forces, who responded with tear gas and water cannon.
Human rights groups on Thursday said at least 1,000 people had been detained.
“Youth live from day to day, we no longer have hope, neither to work nor to study — and they call us troublemakers!” said call center worker Amine, who has a degree in aerospace engineering.
“We must listen to young people, not send police in by the thousands. The whole system is corrupt, a few families and their supporters control Tunisia’s wealth.”
Tunisia last week marked one decade since Ben Ali fled the country amid mass protests, ending 23 years in power.
Tunisia’s political leadership is divided, with Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi waiting for parliament to confirm a major cabinet reshuffle announced last Saturday.