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Non-Profit Health Organizations Find a Platform to Shine During Ramadan

22 June, 2017
BY Nada Baraka

Flipping through the channels this year you might have noticed no less than three or four advertisements for different non-profit health care foundations. These advertisements are often theatrical, full of music and most of them, if not all, showcase celebrities and public figures supporting the cause.

Health care in Egypt is one of the biggest problems plaguing the government. In a country affected by endemic poverty, health care only accounted for 3% of the country’s expenditures during the 2016-2017 fiscal year. 

As a result, the private sector often fills the gap in an attempt to take away from the burden on public health care facilities, but they come with a hefty price tag. Average checkup fees for a well-established physician can cost up to EGP 300. While health insurance is offered by the government through the Health Insurance Organization (HIO), it only covers 6% of the population. On the flipside, out-of-pocket expenses as a percentage of private expenditures on health in 2013 reached 97.7%.

However, a newly emerging movement is attempting to situate Egyptian non-profit organizations in the development of civil society in Egypt and in the region as a whole.

One prompt example is the 57357 Hospital for children with cancer. The hospital, which opened in 2007, has promised to be one of the leading institutions for cancer treatment. Today, it has not only endeavored in state of the art techniques to treat cancer, but has also pledged new ways to end cancer as an epidemic.

The hospital, which now falls under the Egypt Cancer Network (ECN) aims to eradicate cancer through promoting healthy habits and prevention techniques that may stop a person from contracting the disease. The network also hopes to improve “cancer care in Egypt and the region, providing stimulus to the Egyptian economy, advancing specialization to pediatric oncology health care professionals and providing jobs to thousands of people over the short- and long-term,” as stated on their official website.

Another important example is Ahl Masr Burn Hospital, which aims to not only become the biggest burn treatment center in the region, but also to work on the advocacy of burn prevention and de-stigmatizing patients, especially children, which have suffered from burns.

The foundation is not only a hospital. It also promotes social development through different aspects, like the Humanity Burn Free Initiative and the safe village program, which provides a safe ecosystem for underprivileged areas for burn prevention.

In addition, the Magdi Yacoub Foundation has been rapidly developing itself to strengthen the future of cardiology in Egypt. The foundation targets children and is collaborating with international organizations that care about the well-being of children suffering from heart conditions. 

Ramadan gave these hospitals and health foundations a chance to reach the public, and it seems likely they’ll be a growing trend for years to come if the health care sector’s status quo remains unchanged. 

Photo credit: Magdi Yacoub Foundation

Tags Magdi Yacoub Foundation 57357 Hospital Egypt Cancer Network Ahl Masr Burn Hospital Health care non-profit Egypt Ramadan