Biotop to Support 2006 National Hepatitis Vaccine Research Conference in China, Nov. 15-18, 2006 (Dec.26.2006)

Biotop (Shanghai) is proud to be a sponsor, with some international vaccine suppliers, including Beijing Tiantan Biological, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Biological, Sinovac Biotech, of China’s 2006 National Hepatitis Vaccine Research Conference which took place in Sichuan, China from November 15-18, 2006. Biotop’s activities included an exhibition of medical devices and participation on a panel discussion about the prevention of hepatitis. Moreover, Biotop hosted a welcome banquet at the first day of the conference.

The 2006 National Hepatitis Vaccine Research Conference was co-hosted by Chinese Foundation for Hepatitis Prevention and Control (CFHPC) and Sichuan Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); attendees included Asian Liver Center (ALC) at Stanford University (ALC), doctors, researchers, and representative from China Ministry of Health (MOH) and each provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in China. The conference is held to address the research on hepatitis vaccine and relevant issues and the conference is aimed to strengthen the knowledge on hepatitis prevention in China. Several discussions during the conference further highlighted the fact that hepatitis prevention, specifically hepatitis B, is not only a health concern but also an educational and social issue.

According to the data from ALC, China has the greatest burden of hepatitis B and liver cancer in the world; about one-third of the 350-400 million people in the world with chronic hepatitis B live in China. It is estimated that about 500,000 Chinese die of liver cancer or failure caused by hepatitis B every year. Despite the most common serious viral infection in China, there is no large-scale national awareness campaign to educate the public and healthcare professionals in China about Hepatitis B virus (HBV). As HBV is not an acute infection that would cause death but the consequence of chronic HBV infection that might occur in another 20-30 years, the threat of HBV to the health of the nation is underrated by general public as well as the policy makers. As Hepatitis B is a vaccine preventable disease, it’s possible to eradicate Hep B if everyone receives the HBV vaccine before getting infected.

Although the China government has adopted a national policy to provide newborns with free HBV vaccination since 2003, many children and young adults, specifically in poor and rural provinces, are still vulnerable to HBV infection due to the lack of local medical services and education on relevant knowledge. A consensus has been made during the conference that a national strategy which includes a national awareness campaign on Hep B prevention, testing of pregnant mothers, national newborns vaccination as well as an expanded program to provide free vaccination for children and adolescents who have not been vaccinated can lead to the elimination of hepatitis B in the next 20 years in China. Biotop has committed to keep working with CFHPC and ALC on the catch-up vaccination projects in China in 2007 to help eliminate the incidence of HBV.

About ALC
The Asian Liver Center (ALC) at Stanford University is a non-profit organization that addresses the high incidence of hepatitis B and liver cancer in Asians and Asian-Americans. Founded in 1996, ALC spearheads educational outreach and advocacy efforts in the areas of hepatitis B and liver cancer prevention and treatment. In China specifically, the ALC has collaborated with various Chinese government agencies to develop model HBV vaccination programs providing free hepatitis B vaccination for over school age children. On April 2004 ALC launched the Jade Ribbon Campaign at the National Viral Hepatitis Prevention Conference in Hangzhou, China.

The China Foundation for Hepatitis Prevention and Control (CFHPC) is a non-governmental organization that was found in 1998 and targeted on Hepatitis B prevention in China. The goal of CFHPC is to conduct the health education and training work as well as to support and facilitate the scientific research and the work related to hepatitis prevention and control in the poor regions, and further to improve and protect people’s health condition in China.

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