2010-2014Health & Well BeingHepatitisSupporting Asia-Pacific Alliance to Eliminate Viral Hepatitis (APAVH)

Supporting Asia-Pacific Alliance to Eliminate Viral Hepatitis (APAVH)

APAVH, Asia

ZeShan Foundation was a founding contributor to the Asia and Pacific Alliance to Eliminate Viral Hepatitis(APAVH), a global initiative co-founded by the Asian Liver Center at Stanford University, US CDC and WHO in 2008.  The first global effort to work towards the elimination of viral hepatitis, APAVH aims to create a sustainable public and private partnership to eliminate the transmission of viral hepatitis infection and reduce the stigma and complications of chronic viral hepatitis infection.

Hosted by ZeShan in April 2010, APAVH’s first regional meeting entitled “Learning from China to Enhance Prevention and Control Efforts in Asia” was held in Hong Kong.  Experts shared best practices and lessons learned in China, and how APAVH could address the remaining gaps, from vaccinating susceptible populations that include college students, healthcare workers and migrants, to providing antiviral treatments for the estimated 35 million hepatitis B patients. The first APAVH 2010 regional meeting report has been published as a reference guide to demonstrate China’s leadership role in the Western Pacific Region.

As a demonstration project, APAVH has formed a partnership with the Shandong CDC to develop an evidence-based online training course to raise hepatitis B awareness and improve healthcare providers’ knowledge and practices.   The course consists of three modules covering hepatitis knowledge and vaccination, safe injection practices and physician-patient education.  The online education tool was opened for enrollment in July 2011 at http://knowhbv.org.  Pilot test to evaluate the effectiveness and value of the course has been conducted and a preliminary qualitative analysis shows significant improvement in hepatitis B knowledge.

And as part of the advocacy and education act, the official APAVH website has been launched, providing a centralized resource for global viral hepatitis and liver cancer data, reports and publications.   Researches on hepatitis B and related liver diseases in countries in the Western Pacific and South East Asia regions have been conducted and country profiles are developed and available on http://apavh.org.  And the first WPRO website on hepatitis B was created in late 2011; meanwhile brochures and posters promoting hepatitis B vaccination were produced and distributed in 8 countries in the region.

With prevalent infection and vast high risk groups, misunderstanding of hepatitis B and discrimination against hepatitis B carries were common in China.  Teaching and learning materials for Chinese citizens would benefit many.  APAVH completed the development of an online animation in Chinese to better inform people in the country about hepatitis B.  The animation covers common questions the public have about the disease, such as ways of transmission, prevention and treatment.  The material can be accessed through APAVH China website and is an important means to clear misunderstandings and discriminations.

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