Fight Hepatitis C in Egypt - Launch of programme-level cooperation
Hepatitis C (HCV) infection is a leading killer worldwide. The WHO estimates that 3% (170 million) of the world's population are chronically infected with HCV. The situation is particularly alarming in Egypt where the average infection rate is around 15% but up to 50% in certain regions and age groups. In Europe the prevalence of HCV is only around 1% but can be as high as 5 to 8% in certain regions in the mediterranean area. Thus, the European Commission and Egypt's Science and Technology Development Fund (STDF) agreed to join forces in a programme-level cooperation on HCV research. At the launch meeting held on 11 November in Cairo the two EU-funded projects (involving 27 partners) met with Principal Investigators funded through the STDF's HCV programme to present and discuss possible avenues for scientific cooperation. Among the activities foreseen, the EU-funded projects HepaCute and SPHINX will organise scientific workshops, staff exchanges and training (summer schools) for researchers and students, but also issues like HCV detection and registration, exchange of patient data and biological samples, clinical trials and access to research infrastructures and services are being considered to intensify research links and cooperation with Egypt on HCV.