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By NOURHAN MAGDI
CAIRO: The Ministry of Health has launched a website for hepatitis C patients to register to receive Solvadi, a new imported American treatment, said Health Minister Adel el-Adawy in a Saturday conference, Youm7 reported.
Scheduled to be activated Sep. 18, the website is meant to ease patient registration procedures and avoid long queues at hospitals and treatment centers, Adawy added.
Patients between 18- to 70-years-old will have to enter their national ID number online, and within 24 hours they will get an appointment at one of the medical centers across the country according to their location.
Already 60,000 patients are scheduled to be treated with the new treatment, Youm7 reported.
The National Committee to Combat Hepatitis Viruses (NCCHV) announced during the conference that more than 700 doctors and administrative members of treatment units at the committee were trained to administer the new medicine.
Egypt was one of the countries that received the new treatment from American medical firm Gilead at a decreased price, as Adawy previously stated in July that “Egypt bought the treatment for 1 percent of its original international price.”
The price of one Sovaldi pack (28 pills) in the United States is $28,000, according to NCCHV chief Waheed Dous in comments to Veto Gate on Aug. 18.
It was declared that the first shipment for Egypt will include 225,000 packs of Sovaldi for 450 million EGP ($63 million), and the price of one pack of Sovaldi in Egypt will be 2,200 EGP ($307).
Egypt has the highest Hepatitis C prevalence in the world, according to the United Nations Population Fund website. Of the total population, 14.7 percent of people between ages 15-49 have tested positive for the virus.
Additional Reporting by Dana el-Hadidi and Randa el-Banna
By AMIRA EL-FEKKI
CAIRO: At least 647 protests have taken place across Egypt in the month of August, with an average of 22 protests per day, and Aug. 14—the first anniversary of the dispersal of the Rabaa al-Adaweya and Nahda Square sit-ins—was the largest protest day of the month, the Cairo-based International Development Center (IDC) stated in a report issued Saturday.
IDC, an NGO established by activists after the 2011 January 25 Revolution that toppled former PresidentHosni Mubarak, has been using a “Democracy Index” (DI) and counting and categorizing local protests according to different protest groups, geographic locations and demands.
The Muslim Brotherhood recorded the highest number of protests for August 2014, as with 414 protests, they accounted for almost 64 percent of the total number, reaching their peak on Aug. 14.
Other protests erupted demanding labor and economic rights, as 83 demonstrations took place seeking reforms in employment rules, such as forced transfer, the need for long-term contracts and against arbitrary firing, IDC said.
Decisions by the government to cut fuel subsidies and the relocation of street vendors into the Torgoman parking garage, as well as the electricity crisis and blackouts, were also widely protested.
On Aug. 24, the government started moving street vendors and their tents to Torgoman, to ostensibly clear Downtown Cairo of the congestion they created. This resulted in protests and a number of objections, as vendors feared a loss of customers at the new location.
The government also increased fuel prices last July, leaving drivers in crisis over tariff prices. The move was called “the worst decision” ever by some pundits.
Moreover, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi had to face public anger by addressing the nation and calling for “patience” in a speech on Sept. 6 after the country was hit by wide-reaching power outage two days prior.
IDC also reported other kinds of politically-driven protests, which included demands for the release of prisoners of conscience and the end of police brutality, as well as a series of protests against Israeli aggression in Gaza.
As for the means of protests, IDC stated that the most violent form was the obstruction of roads, of which it recorded 94 cases, in addition to 12 hunger strike cases, and 10 assaults on public institutions, mainly electricity towers.
Hunger strikes have become a means of pressure by activists and human rights’ advocates in support of detainees. Last week, a short while before the trial session of activist Alaa Abdel Fatah and 24 other defendants in prison on charges of violating the 2013 Protest Law, a growing hunger strike movement emerged among prisoners and their relatives, activists and political forces.
By NOURHAN MAGDI
CAIRO: The Ministry of Endowment has announced the launch of an awareness campaign at mosques called “Violence Against Women,” to preach against improper contemporary practices regarding women, according to a Thursday statement by the ministry.
The campaign aims to discourage acts like wealth deprivation, forced marriage and sexual harassment.
Ministry Undersecretary Sabri Ebada told the “Haza el-Sabah” (This Morning) television show on CBC Extra Friday that there are “some mistaken tribal habits regarding women occurring now,” which contribute to creating a macho society.
“The hard-line Islamists portray women as having no value other than [serving] men’s physical and sexual comfort,” said Ebada, “and this is far away from Islamic law that enhanced the value of women in society.”
A controversial fatwa by Muslim Brotherhood leader Safwat Hegazy in 2006 brought him under scrutiny for allegedly insulting women who do not wear niqab, which is a full face cover for Muslim women. The case was then dropped.
Hegazy is now standing trial in different cases related to inciting violence and torturing police officers during the MB’s sit-in at Rabaa al-Adaweya.
Hard line preachers were believed to have had the chance to preach more radical ideas in mosques under former President Mohamed Morsi’s reign. During this time, they violently criticized actors, singers and issued more disputable fatwas regarding women.
Ebada also said part of the problem is created by the West, which he said “confines the freedom of women to the freedom of clothing,” and exports images of women in improper and revealing clothes to the Middle East.
Furthermore, Ebada talked about some preachers at mosques who preach incorrect beliefs about women. “Now there are laws restricting any preaching violations,” he said.
He also referred to preacher laws issued recently to limit Friday sermon delivery to appointed preachers who have permits, adding, “The word is capable of wiping out an entire nation.”
Le secrétaire d'État américain John Kerry, qui terminait samedi au Caire sa tournée régionale destinée à recueillir des soutiens pour combattre les djihadistes de l'État islamique (EI), estime que l'Égypte est en première ligne dans la lutte antiterroriste.
« En tant que capitale intellectuelle et culturelle du monde musulman, l'Égypte a un rôle critique à jouer, en dénonçant l'idéologie que [l'EI] répand », a-t-il dit au terme d'une rencontre avec le président égyptien Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi.
« L'Égypte est en première ligne dans la lutte contre le terrorisme, en particulier la lutte contre les groupes extrémistes dans le Sinaï », a déclaré M. Kerry, en allusion aux attaques de groupes disant s'inspirer d'Al-Qaïda contre les forces de sécurité dans cette péninsule de l'est égyptien.
Les États-Unis attendent notamment que l'Université Al-Azhar du Caire, haut lieu de l'enseignement de l'islam, envoie un message de modération face à l'attrait qu'exercent les djihadistes depuis leur offensive éclair dans le nord de l'Irak.
Les autorités égyptiennes ont de leur côté estimé qu'une action globale était nécessaire pour contrer la menace qu'ils représentent.
« Nous pensons que le rejet du terrorisme est une responsabilité collective relevant de tous les membres de la communauté internationale. », a affirmé le ministre égyptien des Affaires étrangères, Sameh Choukri, lors d'une conférence de presse commune avec M. Kerry.
L'Égypte figure parmi les dix États arabes qui se sont ralliés, lors d'une réunion jeudi à Jeddah avec M. Kerry, à une « campagne militaire coordonnée » visant à lutter contre l'État islamique en Irak et en Syrie. Les autres pays incluent l'Irak, la Jordanie, le Liban et six États du golfe dont l'Arabie saoudite et le Qatar.
La Turquie, où il se trouvait vendredi, montre en revanche des réticences à se rallier aux États-Unis, redoutant de mettre en péril la vie des 46 Turcs retenus par l'EI en Irak.
Le chef de la diplomatie américaine a quitté en soirée Le Caire pour Paris, où il participera lundi à une conférence internationale sur l'Irak axée sur la lutte contre l'EI. Le rôle que jouera chacun des membres de la future coalition sera davantage défini.