Dr. Gamal Shiha (2021)
The screening of all Egyptian people in less than one year was more than a dream. By doing this, I think our activities and our efforts were finally reached a point where we can say we have truly done something. I hope we will continue serving patients, especially those who cannot afford the costs of medical care.
Dr. Shiha is a Professor of Internal Medicine, and the Head of the Gastrointestinal & Liver Unit at Mansoura University. As a clinician, he saw firsthand the burden of hepatitis C (HCV) among his patients and was inspired to create the Association of Liver Patients Care (ALPC) in 1997. ALPC provides free liver disease care and treatment to those unable to afford it. Then in 2011, he founded the Egyptian Liver Research Institute and Hospital (ELRIAH). The hospital provides treatment and medical care from more than 50,000 hepatic patients per year. It operates as a center of excellence equipped with state of art medical equipment and care.
To reach even more patients, Professor Shiha developed a community-based outreach model (educate, test, and treat) for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of hepatitis C and B infection across villages in rural Egypt. It was implemented in 100 villages across 8 governorates in Egypt between June 2015 and April 2019. Over 250,000 villagers were screened for HCV and HBV. A total of 16,500 infected patients received free treatment. Patients also received health education to promote safe behaviors and practices in the community to further reduce transmission and new infections.
Dr. Gamal was later nominated to head the Education and Scientific Committee in Parliament in 2016. Through that position, he worked with the highest levels of Government to develop the 100 Million Healthy Lives Initiative, a national commitment to screen all Egyptians for hepatitis C and provide treatment at no cost to patients. This initiative has been heralded as the largest public health campaign implemented by a nation state.
Dr. Shiha continued his work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, the Egyptian Liver Hospital received 45,380 patients. More than 539 HCV patients received treatment and 6,203 patients are receiving anti-HBV treatment monthly at no cost to the patient.