Egypt media engage in education session about hepatitis C awareness supported by Roche Diagnostics Middle East

May 12, 2014 3:06 pm

To highlight and raise awareness around hepatitis C in Egypt, which has the one of the largest prevalence in the world of the virus, with a 10 percent prevalence of chronic HCV infection among persons aged 15–59 years . Medical specialists addressed media professionals in an interactive educational session. The event forms part of the media club series hosted by Roche Diagnostics Middle East and was attended by key opinion leaders and journalists at the Four Seasons in Cairo, Egypt.

The educational event was led by Dr. Osama Khalafalla, Professor of clinical pathology at Cairo University and Dr. Ibrahim Mostafa, Professor of Hepatology at Theodor Bilhars Institute. Both doctors used their expertise to highlight the latest medical innovations in diagnostics that provide patients with the most accurate diagnosis – a fundamental for successful treatment. The session further discussed the recent updates in Companion Diagnostics and the connection to Personalised Healthcare, while examining the benefits provided to patients and their vital role in enabling health professionals to manage a disease from diagnosis to treatment, while alleviating healthcare costs.

The concept of Companion Diagnostics aims to innovate healthcare with a shift from an ‘equal shares for all’ principle, toward a target oriented and response-guided therapy management. It is the strategy about how a diagnostic solution is useful in the safe and effective appliance of a medication. As an integral solution from Roche Diagnostics, it enables health professionals to manage a disease from early detection to response-guided medication.

Commenting on the diagnosis processes, Dr. Osama Khalafalla, Professor of clinical pathology at Cairo University said, “Egypt has one of the largest prevalence of hepatitis c due to following the use of poorly sterilized needles dating back to the 1970s. Of the 84 million people in Egypt around 15% are infected with the hepatitis C virus and with an additional 165,000 new infections per year, this represents a major threat to public health therefore, ensuring that the patient is accurately diagnosed is critical to administering the appropriate therapy, which is why diagnostic innovations are significant.

Companion Diagnostics directly ties into Personalized Healthcare, which is based on the knowledge that different patients with the same clinical diagnosis may respond to the same treatment in different ways. While a certain drug might be highly effective for one patient, the same drug might not show the same desired results in another patient, despite the same diagnosis. Disease-related, as well as disease-independent, individual characteristics influence the way drugs work. To treat all patients diagnosed with a certain disease using a broad-brush approach disregards these individual differences.

The event also discussed in detail at the prevalence of breast cancer and colorectal cancer in Jordan and their risk factors and symptoms, as well as screening, diagnostics and treatment solutions.

Hepatitis C is a virus that affects approximately 150 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Hepatitis can be caused by many different factors including viral infections, parasites, bacteria, chemicals, auto-immunity and is commonly spread through direct contact with infected blood through blood transfusions, the use of shared, inadequately sterilised syringes. It can lead to scarring of the liver, liver cancer and liver failure with hepatitis C-related liver disease estimated to cause the deaths of 350,000 people annually.