Health Ministry opens first national stem cell research center in Egypt

Egypt inaugurated its first stem cell research center at the Sheikh Zayed Hospital on Monday, and officials said it plans to begin research immediately.

“The center will begin with four diseases, including hepatic, neurological, vascular and diabetes,” said Dr. Abdel Hamid Abaza, assistant health minister and head of the National Stem Cell Committee, who opened the unit on behalf of Health Minister Dr. Fouad al-Nawawy.

“It will also begin accepting patients on Tuesday,” he said.

Abaza said patients “will not have to pay for anything but the tests.”  He said that the center “will initially be funded by the ministry and will later be included with the health insurance organization, and treatment will be at the state’s expense.”

He added that for the coming two years, the center will focus on research, after which it will focus on patient treatment.

Officials said the construction of the facility had so far had cost LE500,000, and the expected final cost could add up to nearly LE5 million. Abaza said some 350 patients have already applied for the center's services.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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