FOSTER CITY, Calif.--(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 have a phased approach to help address barriers that limit viral hepatitis diagnosis and care at primary healthcare facilities in Vietnam and the Philippines, two countries with high burdens of hepatitis B and C.
Gilead and HAIVN will work together with a multi-stakeholder coalition, involving national ministries of health, academic stakeholders including the University of Philippines-Manila (UP Manila), provincial hospitals and primary healthcare centers to support this pilot program. The focus of the program will be on person-centered approaches in training non-specialist community-based healthcare providers in prevention and management of viral hepatitis, incorporating education, screening, diagnosis and linkage to care for hepatitis B and C into routine patient visits for at-risk populations. Gilead and HAIVN will also aim to strengthen primary healthcare systems including the referrals and counter-referral systems to enhance coordination between specialist and primary care. The two organizations will make the outcomes and learnings from the initiative public to contribute towards better understanding of adequate public health approaches to improve person-centered, community-based management of viral hepatitis.
“This collaboration will provide evidence to support a shift from the current dependence on scarce and overstretched specialists to a broader group of primary care clinicians while simultaneously strengthening primary health care systems and expanding countries’ capacity to diagnose, manage and treat viral hepatitis,” said David Duong, MD, MPH, Director of the Harvard Medical School Program in Global Primary Care and Social Change and an internal medicine physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “Through this innovative initiative with Gilead, we will apply new patient-centered, 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 healthcare and controlling hepatitis. The World Health Organization has set a global target to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health problem by 2030, calling for 90% of people with hepatitis B and C to be diagnosed, 80% of those eligible for treatment to be treated and a 65% reduction in mortality, in addition to developing preventative actions.1 However, despite the important gains in biomedical technology and management of viral hepatitis, implementation of best practices and access to diagnostics and treatment in both countries are still significantly limited and inconsistent. At the current pace, Vietnam and the Philippines are not expected to reach WHO targets before 2050.
“This approach has significant potential for application in many other disease areas and low- and middle-income countries where specialist providers are scarce,” said Dr. Harald Nusser, Vice President, Head of Global Patient Solutions, Gilead Sciences. “More than proof of concept for eliminating viral hepatitis and strengthening healthcare systems, this initiative demonstrates the potential for the meaningful impact that public, private and academic collaborations can make on improving global health equity and achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3 regarding good health and well-being.”
Hepatitis B and C lead to chronic disease in hundreds of millions of people globally and together are the most common cause of liver cirrhosis, liver cancer and viral hepatitis-related deaths. An estimated 354 million people worldwide live with hepatitis B or C, and for most, testing and treatment remain beyond reach.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 people with hepatitis B have been diagnosed and only 3% treated. For hepatitis C, only 14% of cases have been diagnosed and 7% have been treated.3 In the Philippines, over 10 million people are infected with hepatitis B and nearly 450,000 with hepatitis C, with the care cascade standing at 5% diagnosed and less than 1% treated for hepatitis B and 23% diagnosed and 1% treated for hepatitis C. 3
About Sustainable Development Goals
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) were adopted by the United Nations (UN) Member States in 2015, as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. They are call to actions by all countries to unite in a global partnership to ensure peace and prosperity for people and planet. SDG 3 Good Health and Wellbeing is one of the SDGs that Gilead supports to improve global health and sustainable development. SDG 3 consists of several targets, including fighting communicable diseases, achieving universal health coverage, increasing health financing and support for health workforce in developing countries. For more information on the SDGs that Gilead support, please visit www.gilead.com.
About Gilead Sciences
Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that has pursued and achieved 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, with headquarters in Foster City, California.
Gilead and the Gilead logo are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies.
For more information about Gilead, please 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 Viral Hepatitis https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/246177/WHO-HIV-2016.06-eng.pdf
3 CDAF https://cdafound.org/.