Mr. Hisham Okasha, Chairman of the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), signed a cooperation protocol with Eng. Tamer Wagih, Chairman of Prime Pharma Co., by virtue of which NBE will be the Platinum Sponsor of the international medical tourism campaign "Tour n' Cure" in 2017 organized by the company with a view to attracting foreigners suffering Hepatitis C virus (HCV) for cure and recreation in Egypt.
The compaign also offers treatment for thousands of Hepatitis C Egyptian needy patients who cannot afford medication costs.
The ceremony was attended by Mr. Hazem Hegazy –Head of Retail Banking and Small and Medium Enterprises and Ms. Nermin Shehab Eldin, General Manager of Marketing, Corporate Communication and CSR at NBE as well as a host of top officials of both sides.
After signing the Protocol, Mr. Okasha confirmed that sponsoring that event stemmed out of NBE's deep belief in the program feasibility which drew on the competitiveness of the Egyptian medicine prices compared to peer prices in other countries worldwide and promoted the success of the Egyptian experiment in curing hundreds of thousands of patients in a record time.
Mr. Okasha pointed out that the program would invest that success in attracting foreigners for treatment in Egypt at a reasonable cost instead of staying enlisted on lengthy waiting lists for receiving their treatment in their countries; catalyzing the inbound tourism throughout the year rather than in particular seasons; promoting Egypt as one of the key medical tourism destinations in the world; and consequently greasing the wheels of the Egyptian economy by maintaining constant inflows of foreign currency.
Mr. Okasha pinpointed that signing that protocol coincided with signing another cooperation protocol by NBE with Misr El Kheir Foundation for developing seventeen out of the most-needy villages across Egypt.
The latter protocol seeks to implement a set of development-oriented activities and works; i.e. developing schools and health care units within these villages; providing potable water supply and electricity networks; upgrading the constructional efficiency of houses; and suppyling villagers with the basic furnishings. Under this Protocol, Prime Pharma Co., the company launching "Tour n' Cure" campaign, conducts medical surveillance for almost 135,000 villagers including medical examinations, analyses and imaging to identify Hepatitis C patients as well as schedule and implement an integrated treatment program for 25,000 patients identified with Hepatitis C within the year 2017 through supplying the required medication, supervising the medication-taking process and following up patients until the end of the program and full recovery.
From his part, Eng. Tamer Wagih said that the partnership with NBE covered sponsoring the big reception which Prime Pharma Co. would host in Cairo for announcing the launch of the program under the slogan "For a world free of Hepatitis C" in the attendance of the soccer superstar Lionel Messi. The well-famed player is widely liked and respected by fans all over the world and enjoys unmatched fame worldwide evidenced by the number of followers of his website (+1,000,000,000 persons).
Mr. Wagih pointed out that hundreds of Egyptian Hepatitis C patients would be treated during this visit, adding that the partnership with NBE would be a long-term one aiming to end patient waiting lists so that Hepatitis C would be completely eradicated in Egypt in alignment with the time schedule set by the National Strategy for Elimination of Hepatitis C in Egypt before the end of 2020, given that phase I of this partnership would be completed in 2017. Eng.
Wagih explained that the "Tour n' Cure" campaign organized by Prime Pharma Co. was an integrated treatment and recreation plan, executed in coordination with Pharco Corporation, that included undertaking surveillance and analyses for patients and supervising the medication process in collaboration with first-class hospitals, laboratories and imaging centers in Egypt.
He added that the plan comprised arranging a program for visiting the key tourist landmarks in Cairo as an approach for psychologically preparing foreign patients for treatment by a new method and overcoming the challenges they encountered in the phase of combating the virus after taking the prescribed dosages.