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Health in Egypt refers to the overall health of the population of Egypt.

Health infrastructure

The Egyptian Ministry of Health is the government body responsible for health in Egypt.

Water supply and sanitation

Further information: Water supply and sanitation in Egypt

There are conflicting figures about the number of people with access to safe water, and especially the number of people with access to sanitation. According to the official UN figures used to monitor the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, 99% of Egyptians had access to an improved water source and 94% had access to improved sanitation in 2008.

Access to Water and Sanitation in Egypt (2010)[1]
(43% of the population)
(57% of the population)
Water Broad definition 100% 99% 99%
House connections 100% 93% 96%
Sanitation Broad definition 97% 93% 95%
Sewage n/a n/a 50% (2006 census)

Soakaway latrines, which are common in rural areas, often do not work properly due to the high groundwater table, infrequent emptying and cracks in the walls. Thus sewage leaks out and contaminates the surrounding streets, canals, and groundwater. Trucks that empty latrines and septic tanks do not necessarily discharge septage into wastewater treatment plants, but rather dump the content in the environment.[2]

According to the government's National Research Center, 40 percent of Cairo's inhabitants do not get water for more than three hours per day and three large districts do not receive any piped water. In 2008 demonstrations concerning this issue took place in Suez, where 500 people blocked a main road to Cairo.[3] According to a survey carried out prior to 2006 in governorate of Fayoum, 46% of households complained about low water pressure, 30% about frequent water cuts and 22% complained that water is not available during day time. These problems lead many people to use water from canals which could be hazardous to health.[4]

It is estimated that each year about 17,000 children die from diarrhea.[4] One reason is that drinking water quality is often below standards.[4] Some water treatment plants are not maintained properly and are thus inefficient in removing parasites, viruses and other parasitic microorganisms.[5] In 2009, a study by the Ministry of Health showed that drinking water for half a million people in Asiut was unfit for human consumption.[6] As of June 2011, nothing had been done to address the problem. Chlorination systems of wells, which had been installed years ago because high levels of bacteria had been detected in the groundwater, failed for lack of maintenance and have been shut down so that untreated water is provided to the residents.[7]

Health status


Total population (2019) [8] 100.4 million
Gross national income per capita (PPP international $, 2020)[9] 12,210
Life expectancy at birth (years, 2018)[10] 72
Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population, 2016) 205/121
Total expenditure on health as % of GDP (2014) 5.6[11]
Cumulative Count of Patient Deceased due to COVID-19 (Sep,2021)[12] 16789

Life expectancy

The 2020 average life expectancy in Egypt, estimated by the World Bank Group, was 72.15 years: 69.88 for male and 74.53 for female.[13][14][15]

Life expectancy at birth in Egypt
Period Life expectancy in
Period Life expectancy in
1950–1955 41.1 1985–1990 63.5
1955–1960 46.4 1990–1995 65.4
1960–1965 49.3 1995–2000 68.0
1965–1970 51.6 2000–2005 69.0
1970–1975 53.0 2005–2010 69.9
1975–1980 56.8 2010–2015 70.8
1980–1985 59.9 2015-2020 72

Source: UN World Population Prospects[16][17]

House of dead in Cairo

Infectious diseases

Egypt used to have high rates of Hepatitis C (22%), one of the highest worldwide (Pakistan (4.8%), China (3.2%)).[18] It is believed that the high prevalence in Egypt is linked to a now-discontinued mass-treatment campaign for schistosomiasis, using improperly sterilized glass syringes.[19] In 2018, the Ministry of Health began a program to screen for and treat HCV. To reach a target population of 62.5 million, residents were screened at multiple healthcare and other sites using a WHO-approved rapid diagnostic test (RDT) that analyzed finger-prick samples for HCV antibodies, Viremic persons received sofosbuvir (400 mg daily) plus daclatasvir (60 mg daily) with or without ribavirin for 12 or 24 weeks, Almost 50 million people (80% of the target population) participated.[20]

Avian influenza has been present in Egypt, with 52 cases and 23 deaths in January 2009.[21]

With an estimated tuberculosis (TB) incidence of 11 new cases per 100,000 people, Egypt has relatively low levels of TB according to 2005 data from the World Health Organization.[22]


Further information: HIV/AIDS in Egypt

With less than 1 percent of the population estimated to be HIV-positive, Egypt is a low-HIV-prevalence country.[23] Unsafe behaviors among most-at-risk populations and limited condom use among the general population place Egypt at risk of a broader epidemic. According to the National AIDS Program (NAP), there were 1,155 people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in Egypt by the end of 2007. UNAIDS estimates for 2005 were higher, putting the number of HIV-positive Egyptians at 5,300.[22]


Further information: Smoking in Egypt

Smoking in Egypt is prevalent, with 19 billion cigarettes smoked annually in Egypt making it the largest cigarette market in the Arab world.[24] Inside cafes, hookah (shisha) smoking is common. As of 2012 smoking in Egypt has reached an all-time high with an estimated twenty percent, ten million people, regularly using tobacco products.[25]


Further information: Obesity in the Middle East and North Africa

Share of adults that are obese, 1975 to 2016

In 1996, Egypt had the highest average BMI in the world at 26.3.[26] In 1998, 1.6% of 2- to 6-year-olds, 4.9% of 6- to 10-year-olds, 14.7% of 10- to 14-year-olds, and 13.4% of 14- to 18-year-olds were obese. 45% of urban women and 20% of the rural population were obese.[27]

Obesity rates rose as oils, fat, and sugars were more regularly consumed, beginning in the 1990s. The cultural appreciation of heavier female bodies is a factor.[27] Another explanation is the degree to which food is the center of social events and special occasions. Heavy consumption of starchy and fatty foods without the presence of a health-conscious exercise culture is a major factor. As parents teach this lifestyle to their children, the prevalence of childhood obesity increases.[28] Today, Egyptian teenagers drink three times as much soda as milk. Ten percent of males and females drink five or more cans of soda a day, which can lead to early osteoporosis in women in the future. These food habits are reinforced by junk food advertisements and the availability of unhealthy food at supermarkets. As a result, teenagers are three times as likely to be overweight than they were 20 years ago.[29]

Drug use

According to Egypt's National Council for Battling Drug Addiction, the use of recreational drugs among residents of Cairo over the age of 15 has rocketed from 6% to 30% since the Egyptian Revolution of 2011.[30]


The Human Rights Measurement Initiative found that Egypt was fulfilling 84.9% of what it should be fulfilling for the right to health based on its level of income in 2021. When looking at the right to health with respect to children, it achieves 94.8% of what is expected based on its current income. In regards to the right to health amongst the adult population, the country achieves 88.1% of what is expected based on the nation's level of income. Egypt falls into the "very bad" category when evaluating the right to reproductive health because the nation is fulfilling only 71.8% of what the nation is expected to achieve based on the resources (income) it has available.[31]

See also


  1. ^ World Health Organization; UNICEF. "Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation. Coverage Estimates Improved Drinking Water". Archived from the original on 2014-02-09. Retrieved 2012-10-19.
  2. ^ United Nations; General Assembly; Human Rights Council (5 July 2010). "Report of the independent expert on the issue of human rights obligations related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation, Catarina de Albuquerque Addendum Mission to Egypt" (PDF). pp. 12–13. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-12-28. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  3. ^ New York Times:Pipes but no water: A need grows in Egypt, by Daniel Williams, September 30, 2008, Retrieved on 2011-07-21
  4. ^ a b c National Water Research Center, Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation (2007): Actualizing the Right to Water: An Egyptian Perspective for an Action Plan Archived 2016-01-18 at the Wayback Machine, Shaden Abdel-Gawad, retrieved on 2012-04-30
  5. ^ Noha Donia, Assistant Professor Engineering Dep.Institute of Environmental Studies and Research:SURVEY OF POTABLE WATER QUALITY PROBLEMS IN EGYPT, Eleventh International Water Technology Conference (2007), Sharm el-Sheikh, p. 1051, retrieved on 2011-07-21
  6. ^ "Drinking water in Asyut unfit for human consumption". 4 August 2009. Archived from the original on July 7, 2012. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
  7. ^ Habi Center for Environmental Rights (1 June 2011). "Report: 80% of Assiut residents drink unclean water". Retrieved 23 July 2011.
  8. ^ "Egypt - Place Explorer - Data Commons". Retrieved 2021-09-08.
  9. ^ "Egypt GNI per capita based on PPP, 1960-2020 -". Knoema. Retrieved 2021-09-08.
  10. ^ "Timelines Explorer - Data Commons". Retrieved 2021-09-08.
  11. ^ "Egypt". World Health Organization. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  12. ^ "Egypt - Graph Browser - Data Commons". Retrieved 2021-09-08.
  13. ^ "Life expectancy at birth, total". The World Bank Group. Retrieved 30 April 2022.
  14. ^ "Life expectancy at birth, male". The World Bank Group. Retrieved 30 April 2022.
  15. ^ "Life expectancy at birth, female". The World Bank Group. Retrieved 30 April 2022.
  16. ^ "World Population Prospects – Population Division – United Nations". Retrieved 2017-07-15.
  17. ^ "Life expectancy at birth, total (Years) - Egypt, Arab Rep. | Data".
  18. ^ "Hepatitis C". World Health Organization (WHO). June 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-13.
  19. ^ Alter, MJ (2007-05-07). "Epidemiology of hepatitis C virus infection". World Journal of Gastroenterology. 13 (17): 2436–41. doi:10.3748/wjg.v13.i17.2436. PMC 4146761. PMID 17552026.
  20. ^ "NEJM Journal Watch: Summaries of and commentary on original medical and scientific articles from key medical journals".
  21. ^ "WHO | Avian influenza - situation in Egypt - update". Archived from the original on January 15, 2009.
  22. ^ a b "Health Profile: Egypt" Archived 2008-09-05 at the Wayback Machine. United States Agency for International Development (March 2008). Accessed September 7, 2008. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  23. ^ "AIDS HIV risk factors important informations". Archived from the original on 2016-10-31.
  24. ^ Yolande Knell (9 June 2010). "Egypt Introduces Alexandria Smoking Ban". BBC News. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  25. ^ Egypt Global Adult Tobacco Survey. "Tobacco Use in Egypt" (PDF). Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  26. ^ Martorell, R (2000). Obesity in Women from Developing Countries.
  27. ^ a b Galal, Osman M (2002). "The Nutrition Transition in Egypt: Obesity, Undernutrition, and the Food Consumption Context". Public Health Nutrition. 5 (1A): 147. doi:10.1079/PHN2001286. PMID 12027277.
  28. ^ El-Noshokaty, Amira (2003). Fighting Fat.
  29. ^ Reem, Leila. What We Eat. Archived from the original on 2014-04-02. Retrieved 2014-06-25.
  30. ^ Trafficking in north Africa: Boom boom
  31. ^ "Egypt - HRMI Rights Tracker". Retrieved 2022-03-13.