What does the coronavirus pandemic tell us about Egypt’s healthcare system?

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A conversation with EIPR’s Alaa Ghanam on its strengths and weaknesses

With every statement that the Health Ministry puts out on the number of new coronavirus cases in Egypt and the number of additional deaths, questions abound. Where are we headed? Is our healthcare system capable of handling this pandemic? Are we prepared? 

It’s been eight weeks since the first coronavirus case was detected in Egypt, a period during which other countries where the virus spread earlier witnessed a steep rise in infection rates. The numbers in Egypt have so far not spiked dramatically, though the spread of the virus is steadily increasing.

Alaa Ghanam, an expert in healthcare reform and the director of the Right to Health program at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights is well versed on the strategy the Health Ministry has adopted to confront the crisis.

We asked him about the capabilities of Egypt’s healthcare system, its course of action and the Health Ministry’s track record in dealing with epidemics in the past.