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Adoption of the Cairo Declaration on Viral Hepatitis in Africa with the ratification of the member states of the African Union

 Adoption of the Cairo Declaration on Viral Hepatitis in Africa with the ratification of the member states of the African Union

African Ministers of Health congratulate Dr. Hala Zayed on Egypt’s wining the chairmanship of the African Union Specialized Technical Committee on Health, Population and Drug Control

Members of the Committee: Egypt's success in combating hepatitis C confirms the potential for replication of the success story in other African countries

Minister of Health: African peoples have experience in addressing and overcoming challenges
The 3rd Ordinary Session of the AU STC on Health, Population and Drug Control concluded its work yesterday, which took place in Cairo, for five days, at the level of technical experts, representatives of African Union organizations, and African Ministers of Health in member states of the AU, headed by Dr. Hala Zayed, Minister of Health and Population.

The recommendations of the Committee stipulated the adoption of the Cairo Declaration on Hepatitis in Africa with the ratification of the African Union Member States, which commended the achievements of Egypt in the fight against Hepatitis C, confirming the potential for replication of the success story of one African country in all African countries.

Ms. Amira Elfadil, Commissioner for Social Affairs of the African Union Commission, expressed her thanks to Dr. Hala Zayed for the hosting by Egypt of the 3rd Ordinary Session of the STC and for her recommendations for establishing a regional center in Egypt to support public health initiatives in the African continent, as well as for her initiative asking for the extraordinary meeting of the Committee after 6 months to follow up the implementation of the recommendations and evaluate the extent of their implementation on the ground.

For her part, Dr. Hala Zayed explained that African countries are the most powerful and persevering peoples, as they have much more experience of many countries in addressing and overcoming challenges, calling on each country to share success stories in various fields with the objective of exchanging experiences and helping other countries.

Dr. Hala Zayed also stressed the need for carrying out more efforts, holding other meetings, calling on all African countries to work under one umbrella to achieve the success in the areas of Health, Population and Drug Control, at the continental level.

Dr. Khaled Mujahid, Advisor to the Minister of Health and Population for Media Affairs and Spokesman of the Ministry, said that the African Ministers of Health congratulated Dr. Hala Zayed on Egypt's winning the chairmanship of the Specialized Technical Committee on Health, Population and Drug Control in the African Union for two consecutive years, after Egypt has won the post of Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Arab Ministers of Health since last May.

For his part, Dr. Mohamed Gad, head of the ambulance corps and supervisor of the external health relations sector at the Egyptian Ministry of Health, said that the committee praised Egypt's recommendations regarding the Cairo Declaration on Hepatitis, which included one of the objectives of sustainable development, which calls for fighting this disease, noting the number of deaths resulting from hepatitis B has increased by 31% since 2000, which has negatively impacted health, and social and economic development.

Mr. Gad said the recommendations included the agreement on establishing a national strategic plan to fight viral hepatitis with budget allocation and inclusion of the hepatitis program in the broader health plan, as well as linking it with other disease programs, in alignment with the Africa Health Strategy (2016-2030) and the Sustainable Development Agenda for 2030.

Mr. Mujahid noted that it had been agreed to establish a robust information and surveillance system for viral hepatitis to ensure that key indicators are integrated into national health information systems to better plan and monitor the national and continental response.

The Committee also commended Egypt's recommendation to raise awareness and highlight the celebration of World Hepatitis Day on 28 July of each year.

Mr. Mujahid indicated the Committee's recommendation stipulating the promotion of the use of hepatitis B vaccine in the framework of national immunization and to introduce a single-dose universal vaccine at birth to prevent mother-to-child transmission.

He also pointed out that among the recommendations are the consolidation of mechanisms for the registration of medicines, in accordance with international standards, and the registration of manufacturing and producing companies, in alignment with the requirements of good manufacturing standards for the African continent, in addition to strengthening the local production of advanced/effective pharmaceutical ingredients and raw materials, and the promotion of infection prevention and control measures in all health care centers, including blood transfusion services, as well as facilitating population access to comprehensive health care.

It should be noted that a number of countries have responded to Dr. Hala Zayed's invitation to sign the International Drug Agreement, which aims to standardize the purchase of medicines according to the needs of the continent, thus contributing to reducing the price of medicine, noting that the Convention had been signed by the Ministers of Health of Ghana, Madagascar, Gambia, Algeria and the Saharan Arab Democratic, by the end of the meeting held.