The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation today announced nine new grants totaling more than $3.5 million to strengthen efforts in China and India in the fight against hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus infection by focusing on the most vulnerable, high-risk patient populations.
Grants align with World Health Organization strategy to provide screening and care for vulnerable populations and regional efforts to raise viral hepatitis prevention awareness among care providers
"Delivering Hope continues to increase its focus on HBV and HCV in China and India, the two countries that have the highest incidence of viral hepatitis worldwide"
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation today announced nine new grants totaling more than $3.5 million to strengthen efforts in China and India in the fight against hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection by focusing on the most vulnerable, high-risk patient populations.
The multi-year grants were made through the Foundation’sDelivering Hope™ initiative, which has supported more than 40 projects in China and India since 2002.
These new grants align with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) strategies for reducing the incidence of HBV and HCV infection through early diagnosis and screening of high-risk populations, including intravenous drug users and patients co-infected with HIV and/or tuberculosis. Several focus on increasing awareness about disease transmission among health care providers who care for HBV- and HCV-infected patients, who also are considered at-risk for contracting viral hepatitis.
Viral hepatitis is an urgent public health issue in Asia. In China and India together, it is estimated that more than 123 million people are infected with chronic hepatitis B and about 60 million with hepatitis C. Although progress has been made in introducing national policies to control the spread of HBV and HCV, community and general awareness is considerably low. When left untreated, viral hepatitis infections result in liver failure and chronic liver disease that can create a significant burden on families and society.
Last year, Delivering Hope established three Centers of Excellence, one in China and two in India, that are scaling up and replicating achievements in hepatitis awareness, prevention and treatment from past Foundation grantees, including several organizations receiving new grants.
“Delivering Hope continues to increase its focus on HBV and HCV in China and India, the two countries that have the highest incidence of viral hepatitis worldwide,” said John Damonti, president, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. “Working with the Foundation’s Centers of Excellence in these countries, our grantees are using successful evidence-based practices to support the WHO’s efforts at raising awareness and prevention of viral hepatitis among the most vulnerable and high-risk populations, training the health care professionals who care for these patients and increasing vaccinations and testing, all of which continue to build health care capacity and support strong community models for hepatitis prevention and control.”
The Foundation awarded grants for the following new projects in China:
The Foundation awarded grants for the following projects in India:
In addition, the Foundation awarded a grant to the World Hepatitis Alliance to develop a new model of patient group creation aimed at physicians who treat viral hepatitis and engage them in creating and sustaining patient support groups. These groups play a large role in advocacy efforts that have changed health care policies and practices for a range of diseases around the world.
The World Hepatitis Alliance will develop an e-learning tool comprised of a video course and a text-based tool kit that will focus on the importance of advocacy to promote viral hepatitis awareness and prevention, the need for patient groups to be integral to advocacy, advantages to physicians of having strong patient groups, provide information about creating a patient group and supporting existing groups and map out support available from the World Hepatitis Alliance and other sources.
These learning materials will be housed on the World Hepatitis Alliance website and will be available to be hosted on other websites, including those operated by major international hepatology societies, to ensure wide distribution. The project will include China and India, but is more broadly aimed at the world.
Delivering Hope has initiated more than six patient empowerment projects in China and India, reaching more than 6,000 patients.
About the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation
The mission of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is to help reduce health disparities by strengthening community-based health care worker capacity, integrating medical care and community-based supportive services, and mobilizing communities in the fight against disease.