Egypt’s Minister of Health and Population Khaled Abdel Ghaffar on Sunday inaugurated the first integrated laboratory for pathological and genetic analyses in Egypt at the Egyptian Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The move came in co-operation with the global Roche Company, a leader in the field of pharmaceutical preparations and diagnostic tests, HDV Egypt, a leading company in diagnostic tests, and the global Illumina Inc Company, a pioneer in the field of genetic sequencing tests.
The lab was opened on the sidelines of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s initiative for early detection and treatment of cancerous tumors (lung – cervix – colon – prostate).
Head of the Unified Procurement Authority (UPA) Bahaa Eddin Zidan and Dr Mohamed Hassani, Assistant Minister of Health for Public Health Initiatives, attended the event.
The minister said that Comprehensive Genomic Profiling (CGP) was only available in the private sector through sending samples abroad, hailing the step as medical breakthrough. He said that the second phase of the project includes obtaining international accreditation CAP, which is the international certificate that guarantees the quality of laboratory procedures.
The minister said that the operational capacity of the laboratory would be able to conduct about 1,800 CGP genetic analyses annually, and examine 400,000 pathological samples for cancer.
This helps doctors in accurately determining the appropriate treatment for each individual case, resulting in raising the recovery rates.
The minister noted that the initiative for early detection and treatment of cancerous tumors began last June in 9 governorates as a first phase, namely Alexandria, Qalyubia, Beheira, Damietta, South Sinai, MarsaMatrouh, Fayoum, Assiout and Port Said.
The second phase is scheduled to begin in 11 governorates by the end of this year, while the third and final phase will begin by the first quarter of 2024.
Minister Abdel Ghaffar announced that the initiative has so far provided its services to 1,900,000 beneficiaries, noting that 17,507 citizens were referred to undergo a CT scan for early detection of lung cancer, while 89,787 others were referred to undergo an early cancer detection test. Around 62,576 women were referred for a prostate tumor marker test, and 5,048 women were referred for early detection of cervical cancer.
The minister stressed that Egypt is witnessing a quantum leap in diagnostic development for cancerous tumors, in line with the global trend of personalised medicines.
He noted that the initiative helps in the early detection of cancerous tumors for a target group of up to 30 million citizens, from all age categories, in order to enhance national plan to combat tumors.
The UPA chairman said that the cost of equipping the first laboratory for pathological and genetic analyzes amounted to 120 million pounds.
He offered thanks to all the companies that provided support in equipping the laboratory.