Egypt’s Health Minister Hala Zayed announced the establishment of a pharmaceutical plant affiliated to the Holding Company for Pharmaceuticals in Chad.
“We already have drug factories in Africa in Khartoum and Addis Ababa. Through our meetings and cooperation with African health ministers, we are helping to build these factories. A factory affiliated to the Holding Company for Pharmaceuticals is being set up in Chad,” Zayed said at the meeting of the African Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives on Tuesday to discuss the ministry’s plan in Africa.
She explained that her meetings with the African ministers of health agreed to work on standardizing the registration of Egyptian medicine in the countries of the Nile Basin and East Africa due to cheap prices and effectiveness. Sudan and Ethiopia agreed in principle, she added.
The standardization of registration means making Egyptian medicine in those countries available and saving the time (two years) and financial costs of the registration of medicine in those countries, Zayed said.
Zayed also revealed an Egyptian initiative to treat African nationals for the hepatitis C virus, starting with the Nile Basin countries where patients are estimated at 3.7 million people, equal to 30 percent of the number of infected people in Africa.
She added Egypt currently sends doctors from the public and private sectors to the Nile Basin countries to treat patients.
This initiative will also be an opportunity to spread Egyptian medicine and open markets for the pharmaceutical sector. This is an opportunity to export pharmaceutical medicine in Africa and an opportunity to treat one million people infected with HIV in the Nile Basin countries, said Zayed.
Head of the African Affairs Committee MP Tarek Radwan called for strengthening the Egyptian role by organizing campaigns to finance the provision and shipping of medicine to African countries.
Zayed said that the cost of the treatment dose of the virus outside Egypt is between $28,000 to $80,000 per patient. In Cairo, treatment per patient costs between $50 to $120.
She explained the difficulty of conducting a survey within these countries, such as in Ethiopia, which has 120 million people, adding that Egypt treats those diagnosed with hepatitis C, estimated at about 600,000 cases.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm