FOSTER CITY, CA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Gilead Sciences, Inc. today announced a new public-private initiative with the Partnership for Health Advancement in Vietnam (HAIVN), a collaboration between Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. This multi-year initiative will take a phased approach to removing barriers that limit viral hepatitis diagnosis and care in primary health care settings in Vietnam and the Philippines, two countries with high hepatitis B and C burdens.
Gilead and HAIVN will work with a multi-stakeholder coalition that includes national ministries of health, academic stakeholders including the University of Philippines-Manila (UP Manila), provincial hospitals and primary health centers to support this pilot program. The program focuses on person-centered approaches in training non-specialist community health providers in the prevention and treatment of viral hepatitis, incorporating education, screening, diagnosis and linkage to hepatitis B and C care into routine patient visits for at-risk groups. Gilead and HAIVN will also aim to strengthen primary health care systems, including referral and referral systems, to improve coordination between specialty and primary care. The two organizations will publicize the results and findings from the initiative to contribute to a better understanding of appropriate public health approaches to improve person-centred, community-based management of viral hepatitis.
“This collaboration will provide evidence to support a shift from the current reliance on scarce and overwhelmed specialists to a broader group of primary care clinicians, while strengthening primary health care systems and expanding countries’ capacities to diagnose, treat and treat viral hepatitis said David Duong, MD, MPH, director of Harvard Medical School’s program in Global Primary Care and Social Change and physician of internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “Through this innovative initiative with Gilead, we will apply new patient-centric, community-based models to hepatitis care and treatment, building on the foundation that HAIVN has built.”
The initiative will support national priorities for Vietnam and the Philippines: both governments are committed to strengthening primary health care and fighting hepatitis. The World Health Organization has set a global goal of eliminating viral hepatitis as a public health problem by 2030 and calls for 90% of people to be diagnosed with hepatitis B and C, 80% of those eligible for treatment to be treated and 65 % reduction in mortality, in addition to the development of preventive measures.1 However, despite significant advances in biomedical technology and in managing viral hepatitis, the implementation of best practices and access to diagnostics and treatment are still significantly limited and inconsistent in both countries. At the current pace, Vietnam and the Philippines are not expected to meet the WHO targets before 2050.
“This approach has significant application potential in many other disease areas and in low- and middle-income countries where specialized providers are scarce,” said Dr. Harald Nusser, Vice President, Head of Global Patient Solutions, Gilead Sciences. “This initiative is more than a proof of concept for eliminating viral hepatitis and strengthening health systems. It demonstrates the potential for the meaningful impact that public, private and academic collaborations can have in improving global health equity and achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3 in health and well-being.”
Hepatitis B and C cause chronic disease in hundreds of millions of people worldwide and together are the leading cause of liver cirrhosis, liver cancer and viral hepatitis-related deaths. An estimated 354 million people are living with hepatitis B or C worldwide, and testing and treatment remain out of reach for most.2 In Vietnam, out of a population of 97 million, nearly 7.8 million people have hepatitis B and over 900,000 have hepatitis C. Based on 2020 estimates from the CDA Foundation’s Polaris database, only 30% of Vietnamese have been diagnosed with hepatitis B and only 3% treated. In hepatitis C, only 14% of cases were diagnosed and 7% treated.3 In the Philippines, over 10 million people are infected with hepatitis B and nearly 450,000 with hepatitis C, with the cascade of care being 5% diagnosed and less than 1% treated hepatitis B and 23% diagnosed and 1% treated hepatitis C. 3
About Sustainable Development Goals
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted in 2015 by the member states of the United Nations (UN) as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. They are a call for all countries to unite in a global partnership to ensure peace and prosperity for people and planet. SDG 3 “Health and Wellbeing” is one of the SDGs that Gilead supports to improve global health and sustainable development. SDG 3 consists of several goals, including fighting communicable diseases, achieving universal health coverage, increasing health financing and supporting health workers in developing countries. For more information on the SDGs that Gilead supports, visit www.gilead.com.
About Gilead Sciences
Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that has been pursuing and making breakthroughs in medicine for more than three decades with the goal of creating a healthier world for all people. The company is committed to advancing innovative medicines to prevent and treat life-threatening diseases, including HIV, viral hepatitis and cancer. Gilead operates in more than 35 countries worldwide and is headquartered in Foster City, California.
Gilead and the Gilead logo are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc. or its affiliates.
For more information about Gilead, visit the company’s website at www.gilead.com follow Gilead on Twitter (@Gilead Sciences) or call Gilead Public Affairs at 1-800-GILEAD-5 or 1-650-574-3000.
1 WHO Global Health Sector Strategy on Viral Hepatitis 2016-201: Towards Ending Virus Hepatitis https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/246177/WHO-HIV-2016.06-eng.pdf
3 CDAF https://cdafound.org/.