The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation Continues to Deliver Hope to the Hepatitis Crisis in Asia

Over a year ago, we wrote about how the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation was engaged in an ambitious fight against hepatitis in Asia through its Delivering Hope initiative. The foundation is maintaining this focus with a set of recent grants totaling $3.5 million.

Hepatitis doesn't get a lot of attention from funders, but it should. Asia has been experiencing a serious and ongoing hepatitis problem for a number of years. Right now, it’s estimated that over 190 million people are living with HBV (123 million) and HCV (60 million). So it's no small issue that BMS is attacking through its grantmaking. 

Related: Can Bristol-Myers Squibb Conquer Hepatitis in Asia?

Here’s a breakdown of where the latest BMS money is going in China:

  • The Peking University Education Foundation will use its grant to enhance health care capacity in rural communities and further develop a virtual community for chronic hepatitis patients. Through this social network of sorts, patients will learn better disease management and doctors will glean some valuable information regarding those disease management methods.
  • The Hepatitis B Foundation is using its grant to work with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, also focusing on rural patient care and training. The Foundation will also teach patients methods in disease management.
  • Wu Jieping Medical Foundation will funnel its grant money toward HCV research in at-risk populations. Wu Jieping will also study hepatitis patients co-infected with HIV and tuberculosis, adolescent HCV patients, and those suffering from cirrhosis.
  • Inno Community Development Organization has earmarked its BMS grant to increasing awareness and access to healthcare in migrant populations.

BMS grants awarded to Indian organizations include:

  • All India Institute of Diabetes and Research, which will spend its grant money on a pilot program in two rural districts in Gujrat that are currently experiencing HBV outbreaks. The program will include the expansion of HBV testing in public healthcare facilities, increasing vaccine availability, and increased hepatitis training of health care workers.
  • MAMTA plans to put its BMS grant money to work training healthcare workers, targeting those that work with members of high-risk populations, their partners, and families. MAMTA will also issue a health card to people in high-risk populations to help them work through their health care services.
  • United Way of Mumbai is using its grant money on community education and interventions throughout 18 slums in Mumbai.
  • SAMARTH is a new grantee in BMS hepatitis funding scene. SAMARTH will use its grant money to work on an adequate monitoring and evaluation system for BMS hepatitis partners. The organization will also conduct training to help partner organizations self-monitor their progression toward their goals as well as BMS HBV and HCV goals.

One final award out of this round of BMS grantmaking was given to the World Hepatitis Alliance to help the organization develop a new model of patient groups that will hopefully help to engage with doctors who treat hepatitis patients. World Hepatitis Alliance will also funnel some of that grant money into e-learning tools that promote advocacy and awareness.  

All of BMS’s hepatitis grants are awarded out of its Delivering Hope initiative, which has been around since 2002. BMS pays most of its hepatitis funding in India and Asia, but has been looking to expand to other parts of the world including Taiwan and Japan.

The Delivering Hope initiative doesn’t tend to award huge individual grants, but that's not to say its grants are small either—most range from $100,000 to $400,000. Overall, the foundation allocates around $28 million annually toward disease prevention efforts in the U.S. and around the world.

Related: Bristol Myers-Squibb Foundation: Grants for Global Health