Egypt has achieved a remarkable public health success in reaching the World Health Organization’s gold-tier level on the path of hepatitis C virus (HCV) elimination within a decade.
In 2015, HCV caused 40,000 deaths in Egypt, which had one of the highest HCV rates globally at 14.7% of the population. Through coordinated efforts between the government, WHO, pharmaceutical companies, and civil society, Egypt implemented nationwide screening, expanded treatment access, and educated citizens.
Key strategies included building specialized liver treatment centers, negotiating reduced pricing for new HCV antiviral drugs, and launching massive screening initiatives that reached over 60 million Egyptians. As a result, over 90% of identified HCV cases have been cured, surpassing WHO 2030 elimination targets.
Experts praise Egypt’s model for its efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The program’s success has positioned Egypt as a leader supporting other countries’ HCV elimination efforts through expertise-sharing and donations of diagnostics and medications.
Eliminating HCV will remove a major public health burden in Egypt and bring hope for reducing liver diseases and cancer. Egypt’s model demonstrates that with political will, public-private partnerships, community mobilization, and smart resource allocation, even lower-middle income countries can achieve dramatic public health successes.