Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation and its partners today launched a
Centers of Excellence Conference for Community Based Viral Hepatitis
Interventions to share best practices from the flagship hepatitis
program Delivering Hope™, which this
year celebrates its 10th anniversary. The Centers of
Excellence conference is based on 10 years of developing strategies to
raise awareness of hepatitis B and C and manage the virus in
Asian-Pacific communities. The Centers of Excellence conference will
convene Delivering Hope partners to share insights and best
practices from past Delivering Hope grant recipients that can be
implemented in local communities in order to improve the lives of those
with hepatitis B and C.
The Asia-Pacific region is heavily burdened by viral hepatitis. It is
estimated that China and India together have 123 million people infected
with chronic hepatitis B and 59 million people chronically infected with
hepatitis C.1 All countries in the Southeast Asia region
consider hepatitis B and C urgent public health issues, however
awareness of hepatitis is considerably low and many countries lack the
resources to coordinate and implement programs to control the viruses or
provide citizens with vaccinations for hepatitis B.2 Delivering
Hope works to reduce these health disparities by funding and
initiating program grants to increase awareness, treatment and care. To
date, the program has awarded US $11.8 million in grants to 45 programs
across the region.
“Hepatitis B and C are serious global health threats, especially in
China and India, and are responsible for more than 80 percent of all
liver cancer in Asia,” said Charles Gore, president, World Hepatitis
Alliance. “The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation’s Delivering Hope
program and its partners have funded research and pilot programs that
have really affected policy decisions and made a big difference in how
we approach prevention, care and support for those affected by viral
hepatitis, as well as their families and communities. We must all work
together to ensure that viral hepatitis continues to have a really high
national and international priority.”
“The Delivering Hope program does just what it says: It
gives hope for a better future to all those people in rural Asia
at risk of or effected by viral hepatitis. But in fact it does
more than just give hope. It’s delivered real tangible change to
almost a million people in rural Japan, India, Taiwan and China.”
Gore, President, The World Hepatitis Alliance
Through Delivering Hope, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation
works to raise awareness of viral hepatitis B and C, reduce stigma,
develop best practices for hepatitis B and C that can inform public
policy, and build and enhance local partners’ capabilities. The program
also encompasses capacity building for health care professionals and lay
Continuing the Legacy of Delivering Hope: Centers of
Since partnering with Delivering Hope in 2002, the China
Foundation for Hepatitis Prevention and Control (CFHPC) has already
implemented nine community-based hepatitis education prevention and care
projects in China. CFHPC and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation shared
the experiences and lessons gained through this work at the Center of
Excellence Conference in Beijing on Nov. 1-2, aiming to mobilize
additional community stakeholders to sustain these programs and develop
similar programs in their communities. Following the meeting, the
Chinese Center of Excellence will use these best practices to execute
similar awareness and prevention pilot programs, develop a toolkit that
will include hepatitis B and C knowledge training, communicate with
relevant authority groups such as the Chinese Ministry of Health and
National and Provincial CDC, and act as a training center to share
hepatitis B and C intervention experience.
In the past five years, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation has expanded
its efforts considerably across India, providing more than US $4 million
to support 18 grants in many states of the country. The work of the Delivering
Hope grant recipients has greatly impacted their communities. A
recent evaluation report developed jointly by several partners found
that a rural health care provider training program implemented through a Delivering
Hope grant improved rural health care providers’ understanding of
illness and medication. Liver Foundation West Bengal, Hope Initiative in
Uttar Pradesh and Hepatitis Foundation of Tripura have developed and
implemented groundbreaking interventions in awareness, prevention,
capacity building and promoting harm reduction. These groups shared
their best practices with additional organizations at the Center of
Excellence Conference in Kolkata, West Bengal, India on Nov. 4. As a
next step, Liver Foundation West Bengal will consolidate best practices
learned from the work of these groups, and package this, along with
consultations with government and other role players in health care and
hepatitis, for organizations with similar missions to use.
“One should be very careful because the liver is a very
important organ and hepatitis is a silent killer.”
Kamala Kulshreshta, Senior Scientist, National Botanical Research
Institute in Lucknow, India
“Over the past 10 years, Delivering Hope has benefited more than
8 million people, including students, women, lay health workers, health
care professionals, migrant workers and the general public in both rural
and urban areas. The program works to harness the power of local
communities to enact change and progress for viral hepatitis,” said John
Damonti, president, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. “The Foundation
remains committed to this program and raising awareness to help fight
this deadly disease. We look forward to seeing how the sharing of best
practices through our Center of Excellence conferences can further
extend the ripples of change that our partners have helped create into
ever-widening circles of hope and promise for more people across the
Delivering Hope will continue its work in Asia-Pacific countries
to increase awareness and treatment for those at risk of or living with
hepatitis B and hepatitis C. The Foundation will also continue to
support Centers of Excellence conferences with the goal of sharing best
practices for community-based partnerships that improve treatment and
awareness for hepatitis B and C.
About Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) Foundation and Delivering Hope
The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is an independent charitable
organization whose mission is to reduce health disparities and improve
health outcomes around the world for patients disproportionately
affected by serious disease. The Foundation accomplishes this by
strengthening community-based health care worker capacity, integrating
medical care and community-based supportive services, and mobilizing
communities in the fight against disease.
Since 2002, Delivering Hope has awarded 45 program grants
across Asia totaling US $11.8 million to 22 partners in mainland China,
Taiwan, India and Japan.
The Foundation’s support initially focused on preventing mother-to-child
transmission of hepatitis B and promoting hepatitis B immunization in
China. In 2006, the Foundation expanded those efforts to provide broader
support for hepatitis B and C awareness, prevention and education,
including the adoption of hepatitis B and C interventions and education
in public health programs.
Today, the Foundation’s priority hepatitis B and C programs encompass
capacity building for health care professionals and lay health workers,
disease education and awareness, and sharing of best practices in the
prevention and management of hepatitis B and C to inform public health
“The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation has been around for more
than half a century. It has done a lot of things in that time, but
I think the important thing is responding to the emerging needs,
to the unmet needs and really looking at addressing health
disparities by strengthening community-based initiatives with a
focus and understanding that there is great strength and value
within the communities already to understand their problems, to
own their problems and to come out with relevant solutions.”
Mtshali, Director, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation
Beyond hepatitis, the Foundation focuses on HIV/AIDS in Africa through
THE FUTURE® program; diabetes in the
U.S., China and India through its Together
On Diabetes™ program; cancer in Central
and Eastern Europe through its Bridging Cancer Care™ program;
and mental health in the U.S. through its Mental Health and
Well-Being program. For more information, visit the
Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation online at: http://www.bms.com/foundation/pages/home.aspx.
About Chronic Hepatitis B
Chronic hepatitis B is a serious global health issue. Worldwide, more
than 2 billion people have been in contact with the hepatitis B virus
and approximately 350 million people are chronically infected. Chronic
hepatitis B can cause chronic liver disease and puts people at high risk
of death from cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. In some cases, a
diagnosis is made too late and the only option is a liver transplant.3
About Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C (HCV) is one of the most common types of viral hepatitis,
with approximately 170 million people chronically infected worldwide.
Estimates show that between three and four million people become newly
infected with HCV each year.4 Although there is no vaccine to
prevent hepatitis C, it is a curable disease.5
About Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission
is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help
patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information, please
or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bmsnews.
CEVHAP. Fun Facts about Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. http://www.cevhap.org/index.php/en/home/fast-facts-about-hepatitis-b-and-hepatitis-c.
Accessed October 2012.
World Health Organization. Viral Hepatitis in the WHO South-East
Asia Region. http://www.searo.who.int/LinkFiles/Diarrhoea,_ARI_and_hepatitis_SEA-CD-232.pdf.
Accessed October 2012.
World Hepatitis Alliance. What is Viral Hepatitis? http://worldhepatitisalliance.org/AboutViralHepatitis/What_is_Viral_Hepatitis.aspx.
Accessed September 2012.
World Hepatitis Alliance. About Viral Hepatitis. Available at: http://www.worldhepatitisalliance.org/AboutViralHepatitis.aspx.
Accessed 12 January 2012.
World Health Organization. Hepatitis C. Available at: http://www.who.int/csr/disease/hepatitis/Hepc.pdf.
Accessed 12 January 2012.