Egypt's screening drive ready to export Africa-wide



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Egypt's health service has examined the hearing of 219,918 newborns since screening was incorporated into the country's 100 Million Health Initiative in September 2019, says Health Minister Hala Zayed.

The screening of babies from one day to 28 days old had been enabled by the setting up of 1,340 health units in 27 governorates. The 100 Million scheme began with the aim of examining three- to seven-day-old newborns in 1,300 health units nationwide. Egypt's Ministry of Health trained 3,500 nurses nationwide on how to conduct a survey, use an audiometry device, and read and record the results.

Launched in 2018 with World Health Organisation backing, the initiative's first main aims include fighting the spread of hepatitis C and shortening waiting lists for state-funded operations. With new aspects being introduced year by year, the initiative also includes a significant database for reproductive health, working women, and family planning methods, as well as the reduction of breast cancer mortality via early detection. 

In September 2019, Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi told a high-level United Nations meeting on universal health that his country sought to export the 100 Million Health Initiative to other African countries within the framework of the African Union Agenda 2063, the continent’s strategic framework for becoming the global powerhouse of the future.