Aswan parliamentarian calls for Hep C tests before marriage
Vaccination campaign- Photo courtesy of

CAIRO: Blood tests for hepatitis C should be a prerequisite to marriages, said Aswan parliamentarian Amer Abdullah Hamid Taha.

Egypt has the highest rate of hepatitis C infection in the world, nearly 15 percent of the population, according to World Health Organization statistics.

Aswan’s medical services are lacking, he told Youm7, adding that there are a number of hospitals “without doctors,” and that the Ministry of Health is “not interested in solving the problem.”

Taha said he plans to request units to test for the blood-borne disease.

In September 2014, Egypt imported 225,000 bottles of the U.S.-produced Sovaldi treatment, manufactured by the Gilead Science Company, and also a received a similar amount in March 2015.

The sticker price for the drug is approximately $1,000 per pill in the U.S. market, with a 12-week course of treatment amounting to $84,000 according to Forbes magazine.

However the manufacturer has provided stores of the medication to Egypt for a 99% discount, with Cairo subsidizing much of the remaining costs to provide treatment to its citizens.

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