Members of the assembly writing Egypt's new constitution cheer after finishing their vote during the closing session at the Shura Council in Cairo Dec. 1, 2013. Reuters

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi swore in Nadia Saleh Thursday as the country’s first female governor. Saleh was named the governor of the province of Beheira on Egypt’s northern coast due to her advocacy for greater hepatitis C treatment in the region, according to local reports Thursday.

The naming of Saleh, an engineer who headed the state-run water supply company in the city of Alexandria for a decade, breaks Egypt’s tradition of appointing either retired military or police as governors, a report from the New York Times said Thursday.

Ten percent of Egypt’s population, or roughly nine million people, were infected with hepatitis C in 2015 as a result of the use of unsterile needles throughout the country’s decades-long fight against schistosomiasis, a disease that is spread by contact with fresh water contaminated with the parasites. Roughly 40,000 people die from hepatitis C every year in Egypt, which has the world’s highest infection rate of the virus, according to a World Health Organization report from July 2014.

Saleh, who is a member of the General Assembly of the World Water Council, an international organization to promote awareness about dangerous water conditions based in Marseille, France, said she plans on opening more hospitals in the Beheira region to combat the epidemic further as governor.

In addition to Saleh's appointment, Egypt swore in nine new ministers to the cabinet of Prime Minister Sherif Ismail. During the two-week search to find people with significant financial backgrounds to help steer the country out of its ongoing economic crisis, Ismail said it had been difficult to pry candidates from their high-paying private sector jobs.

Economic reforms that were introduced for Egyptian citizens to secure a $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund resulted in high inflation in the country, with the prices of basic commodities rising dramatically. The inflation rate for January in Egypt was nearly 30 percent. The Egyptian pound has lost half its value against the U.S. dollar after years of economic turmoil following the 2011 popular uprising that overthrew the government of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Some political activists in Egypt have accused Saleh of being linked to the National Democratic Party, which was Mubarak’s ruling party before the uprising. She was elected a member of the Egyptian parliament in 2010 on the National Democratic Party ticket.