BMS Foundation Awards US$3.5 Million In Hepatitis Grants

AsianScientist (Feb. 2, 2015) - The Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation has in the past month awarded nine new multi-year grants for more than US$3.5 million to strengthen efforts against hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) in India and China, which constitute the most vulnerable populations worldwide.

The grants were made through the Foundation’s Delivering Hope initiative, an independent philanthropic wing of BMS to prevent hepatitis in Asia. These align with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) call for action against the global hepatitis threat with comprehensive strategies for awareness, prevention and treatment. Last year, Delivering Hope established three Centers of Excellence, one in China and two in India, that are focusing on just these goals.

 An urgent public health issue, hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, most commonly caused by a viral infection. The WHO estimates that hepatitis B and C affect over 500 million people worldwide. Viral hepatitis is often referred to as a ‘silent epidemic’ because most people do not realize that they are infected and, over decades, progress to severe liver diseases. This underscores the urgent need for universal access to immunization, screening, diagnosis and antiviral therapy.

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