Telecommunications Min. reminds public with vaccinations via sms
Vaccination campaign- Photo courtesy of denver.cbslocal.com
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CAIRO: The Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology launched an initiative to send mobile messages to citizens to raise awareness and prevention of diseases, Youm7 reported Sunday.

The initiative, called “Your Health in A Message,” aims to raise awareness of six diseases, including diabetes, heart diseases and Hepatitis C.

Minister of Telecommunications Yasser el-Qady was quoted by Youm7 as speaking about the diabetes, where he said that the initiative aims “to raise awareness of the risks of the disease to increase protection.” The messages will guide citizens to the locations of the treatment centers for each disease, Qady added.

In 2014, there were over 7.5 million cases of diabetes in Egypt, according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF.) The federation says that the prevalence of the disease among adults ranging from 20-79 years old is estimated at 15.4 percent in the country.

Egypt has the highest rate of hepatitis C in the world, according to the United Nations Population Fund; 14.7 percent of people between ages 15-49 have tested positive for the virus.

Since 2014, Egypt has started imported large amounts of the U.S.-made Sovaldi medication, as well as currently testing other imported medicines, which are planned to hit the market by December. It is also adopting a strategy to decrease the prices of the imported drugs and locally manufacturing to make them affordable for the public.

As part of the initiative, Qady added that the ministry is studying to send messages to remind the public with the timing and places of different vaccinations.

The Director of the International Telecommunication Union Ibrahim Haddad signaled the importance of “combating non-communicable diseases,” according to Youm7. Haddad added that “Egypt’s interest in incorporating technology in development reflects real insights to reforming health system in the country.”

Additional reporting by Waleed Abdel Salam and Nourhan Magdi

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