Hepatitis B Free Update
By DAVID HILMERS – Medical Director
We are grateful to all of our supporters. You have stood by us during these difficult times. We hope that each of you has been taking appropriate precautions and has stayed healthy.
Despite travel restrictions that have curtailed our ability to visit our far-flung projects, we have continued to stay busy using your donations and grant funds to press forward. Some of the recent highlights include:
-Hepatitis B training in Kiribati. Our team participates in regular training sessions for health care workers and provides consultations for clinic doctors on individual patients.
-Maternal to child hepatitis B transmission prevention program in Kiribati. We are making slow progress by providing viral load testing for expectant mothers and hope to start treatment soon in pregnant women who meet criteria for medication. Funding for this program is provided through a grant. We are coordinating our work with our program director in Kiribati.
-Provision of tenofovir in the South Pacific. We have purchased and shipped tenofovir to treat hepatitis B in new programs in Vanuatu and Tonga. We will be monitoring closely the progress made in these countries.
-Treatment of hepatitis C in northern Myanmar. This project has been funded by an external donor and will begin shortly in Putao, Myanmar. It will target primarily patients affected by drug abuse and HIV. HepBFree will provide training and consultation support.
-Academic scholarship. We feel that it is important to provide “lessons learned” with the academic community and to share data that we have collected on individuals infected with hepatitis. We have two papers that have been accepted for publication in World Health Organization journals. One describes our treatment program in Kiribati and the other provides epidemiologic data about the rates of hepatitis B infection in individuals living in a province in Papua New Guinea. We will provide abstracts of the papers on our website.
Thank you once again for your continued support.
With our very best wishes,
The Hepatitis B Free team