Egypt MoH launches anti-blindness campaign
Cairo, December 18, 2012
The Ministry of Health and Population (MoH), along with Novartis Pharma Egypt, recently launched the Ministry’s latest initiative within the National Anti-Blindness Campaign providing 800 free vials to treat patients at risk of blindness.
“As part of our commitment to the global initiative Vision 2020, the MoH is intent on eradicating avoidable blindness in Egypt helping reintegrate patients in the work force and alleviating substantial social and financial burdens,” said Dr Khaled Amer, general manager of the ophthalmology unit at the MoH. “The good news is that 80 per cent of the causes of blindness in Egypt are avoidable and treatable.”
The current campaign provides 800 free vials of the recently globally approved therapy to treat underprivileged patients afflicted with two main causes of blindness; wet macular degeneration (wet AMD), a chronic disease that affects 5 per cent of people over 50, and proliferative diabetic retinopathy accountable for 6 per cent of avoidable blindness cases.
“Despite its cost, the MoH now provides patients with treatment at the state’s expense as well as the National Health Insurance Organisation,” said Dr Amer.
“We would like to extend our appreciation to Novartis Pharma Egypt for providing the treatment that has enabled this campaign. Eligible patients have been screened by the MoH and treatment will be administered over three phases at the Cairo Fatemeya Eye Hospital under MoH supervision.”
Dr Salah El Sharkawi, Novartis Egypt vice president and spokesperson, said: “Novartis Pharma Egypt is honoured to support the MoH’s Anti-blindness Campaign by providing quality therapies to underprivileged patients with visual disabilities in Egypt.”
“We are extremely happy to be able to make the new breakthrough therapy available for free to patients suffering from these devastating diseases. Novartis’ support of the National Anti-blindness campaign is an extension of the company’s ongoing global commitment to patients worldwide,” he concluded. – TradeArabia News Service