BMS Foundation marks World Hepatitis Day with new grants
The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation has awarded four new grants totaling $1.69 million to improve prevention, care and support of hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV) in China and India as part of its Delivering Hope program.
The grants, announced to coincide with World Hepatitis Day on July 28, support initiatives to empower hepatitis patients to take an active role in disease management and advocacy. This focus on patient empowerment recognizes the significant health disparities that exist in these countries as well as the progress that has been made to address them through disease awareness efforts and education targeted to the health care community.
China and India together have an estimated 123 million people chronically infected with HBV and 59 million people chronically infected with HCV, accounting for almost 50% of all HBV and HCV infections worldwide. The recipients of the new grants—the China Foundation for Hepatitis Prevention and Control, the HOPE Initiative, the Liver Foundation West Bengal and a coalition that includes the United Way of Mumbai, the National Liver Foundation and AmeriCares India—are long-term partners of Delivering Hope.
“The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation has been working with partners in Asia for the past 10 years, helping mobilize communities to improve the prevention, care and support of hepatitis B and C,” said John Damonti, president, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. “Over the past decade, our focus has evolved from building infrastructure and educating lay health care workers to empowering patients to advocate for improved education, support and services. This evolution is an important signal that, together with our partners in the non-profit and government sectors, we are making important progress in helping to address the needs of people living with hepatitis B and C in communities that are disproportionately impacted by these diseases.”
Organizations and projects receiving support include:
- China Foundation for Hepatitis Prevention and Control will receive $401,687 over three years to create a HBV and HCV patient empowerment model to enhance patients’ ability to manage their disease, through the establishment of a network of patient support groups and the development of hepatitis education materials and trainings.
- HOPE Initiative will receive $355,694 over three years to create a HCV patient support network, enabling patients to share experiences and support through in-person meetings, a telephone hotline and online forums. The organization also will conduct studies to explore the effectiveness of blood donation and transfusion regulations and advocate for greater awareness, timely screening and affordable treatment with the government through its well-tested school-to-community approach.
- Liver Foundation West Bengal will receive $539,035 to develop comprehensive interventions for patients who have HBV or HCV and comorbid non-communicable diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and fatty liver disease.
- United Way of Mumbai, the National Liver Foundation and AmeriCares India—three individual Delivering Hope grant recipients—are joining together in efforts targeted at the prevention and care of HBV and HCV in pregnant women and women of childbearing age, including HBV immunizations, the establishment of patient support groups and patient and health care provider education. The coalition will receive $389,464 over two years.