27 Jul 2012, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: 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 but also 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 percent of all HBV and HCV infections worldwide. The recipients of the new grants are long-term partners of Delivering Hope whose work has produced measurable outcomes to improve awareness, care and support for hepatitis B and C in China and India.
The impact of Delivering Hope programs in China, in particular, was recognized by CMO Asia with an Asia's Best CSR Practices Award in the category of Concern for Health during a ceremony on July 20, 2012.
Mr John Damonti, president, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, said that, "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. 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."
He further added that, "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 that are expected to receive the financial aid, include China Foundation for Hepatitis Prevention and Control ($401,687), HOPE Initiative ($355,694), Liver Foundation West Bengal ($539,035), and the coalition of United Way of Mumbai, the National Liver Foundation and AmeriCares India ($389,464).