The Complete Cure (CC) device, an invention by the Armed Forces that allegedly cures hepatitis C (HCV), a virus prevalent in Egypt, will need at least six months of further testing before it is used to treat the illness, the Ministry of Defense announced on Saturday at a presser.
Military officers speaking at the conference urged the media to remain silent during the testing phase until results are officially announced. The decision contradicts a previous vow by the Armed Forces to introduce the device into hospitals as of early July.
The statement was made in a celebratory conference, where the Armed Forces exhibited the multi-stakeholder verification process it went through with the CC device. Ibrahim Abdel Aty, who first presented the device in February, was seemingly absent from the presser.
CC, alongside the C-Fast, another military invention that is allegedly able to detect several viruses, including HCV and HIV, has stirred a wave of skepticism from medics and scientific researchers. Both devices have been questioned for their ability to recognize the delicate frequencies of the viruses’ genomes and to successfully break them down.
The Armed Forces have defended themselves against criticism of both devices, claiming that these medical inventions will be introduced into hospitals by early July.
However, at the conference on Saturday, military officers revealed that the Ministry of Health approved a phase of testing with the CC device that uses a larger number of patients, with a re-evaluation scheduled after a maximum period of one year.
According to Mostafa al-Awady, of the National Research Center, a member of the committee tasked with reviewing the invention, the initial testing, which was conducted on 77 HCV patients, showed a reduction in the virus development for 77 tested patients to a mean viral load of 440 from an original 507. These results came out after four weeks of testing the device, but are not enough to prove that the device can cure the virus efficiently. However, it wasn't clear if there was a control group to determine whether the virus development reduction was caused by the device intervention.
Madiha Khattab, former dean of the faculty of medicine at Cairo University and also a member of the committee, confirmed that since the device was only tested on a small sample of HCV patients, CC will not be utilized before another six month period of further testing.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health officially announced the success of the C-Fast device in the detection of both HIV and HCV. 303 people were tested using the device for the latter, and the results, according to the Ministry of Health, show that the C-Fast device works, with 93.4 percent efficacy and 97.5 percent sensitivity.
At the same time, the conference titled, “the Armed Forces International Medical Press Conference” and organized by the Ministry of Defense’s Medical Services Unit, opened with a video celebrating both devices for their breakthrough interventions in detecting and curing prevalent and chronic diseases.
The video began with a look at the prevalence of HCV in Egypt and highlighted the military’s aim to identify solutions, which stems from their responsibility to protect the nation’s resources.
According to Gamal al-Serafy, the head of the Medical Services Unit at the Ministry of Defense, the Armed Forces adopted the project undertaken by the Engineering Authority, which came up with both C-Fast and CC. He added that the Armed Forces ordered the formation of a scientific committee to review the devices. The committee included representatives from the Ministry of Health, the Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority, the Chemical Authority, The National Center for Research, as well as the Armed Forces’ Engineering Authority, which stands behind the invention.
The video included testimonials from officials, medics and lab workers from these different institutions, who confirmed that the Complete Cure device has no side effects.
Serafy added that a decision had been made to create an entity called the National Center for Viruses’ Cure in the coastal city of Ismailia, which will be one of the main centers for the implementation of the device once the testing period is over.
Responding to a question on international verification the devices received, Tayseer Abdel Aal, one of the members of the research team of the Armed Forces, said that they issued a request for verification from international parties, but have yet to receive a response. However, independent researchers and medics have found that as far as the C-Fast, the diagnosis device, is concerned, no patent was issued to the Armed Forces upon its request.
Responding to a hepatitis C patient who asked whether he will have to wait for another six months for the device to work, Abdel Aal said, "you don't need to wait. There are alternatives already."