Dr. R. Palmer Beasley's passing is a tremendous loss for the hepatitis community. He was a member of CEVHAP and Palmer and I were friends for nearly 40 years. I knew him very well, because he worked in Taiwan in 1970-80's and we both had a common interest in hepatitis research. He contributed a lot to our understanding of the epidemiology of hepatitis B, the etiologic role of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and the immunoprophylaxis of HBV infection. His landmark discovery of "vertical" transmission of HBV from carrier mothers to their infants in early 1970's paved the road of hepatitis B vaccination. Indeed, he and colleagues went on to show the efficacy of hepatitis B immune globulin and hepatitis B vaccine in this setting, which laid the foundation of hepatitis B immunization in newborns. It is now a regular practice worldwide and this will avert millions of deaths due to end-stage liver disease and HCC.
Although the control of hepatitis B is on the right track, there are still many hurdles in its implementation. While CEVHAP is working toward the eradication of viral hepatitis in our region, we will all remember the giant who has contributed so much to what we are doing now.
D S Chen
An article in The New York Times:
R. Palmer Beasley, Expert on Hepatitis B, Dies at 76
Liverpool Hospital, Sydney NSW, at the launch of a set of innovative educational resources designed to improve the treatment rates of Australia’s approximately 170,000 hepatitis B sufferers and reduce the incidence of hepatitis B-related liver cancer and liver failure:
L to R:
Professor Stephen Locarnini, Director, World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Reference Laboratory for Hepatitis B at the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory; Dr Kerry Chant, Chief Health Officer, NSW; Dr Miriam Levy, Head of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Liverpool Hospital in Sydney
For more details:
CEVHAP - NSW Health Joint Press Release, 23 July 2012
At the 22nd Conference of the Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver (APASL) held in Taipei, on 19 February 2012, CEVHAP staged its first symposium entitled: “Better health through better public policies – What we can learn from the HIV experience.”
Keynote speaker, Dr David Thomas, of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the USA, presented some compelling data emphasising the comparatively large number of deaths occurring as a result of viral hepatitis infection as opposed to the small amount of funding received by the sector - from both public and private sources . The Symposium highlighted the need to build far better public awareness about viral hepatitis and also the need for adequate surveillance data, lacking in many countries, upon which to build and develop sound policy responses.
Some key media articles following the symposium:
Express Pharma (India) Online, 16-31 March 2012
CEVHAP hosts agenda-setting meet on hepatitis policy
South China Morning Post, 13 March 2012
Going viral; Break the silence; Lessons from an earlier battle
South China Morning Post, 21 February 2012
A silent killer remains at large
NOhep is a global, grassroots movement aimed at bringing all stakeholders together to eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030. It has been developed to create global awareness of the disease, similar to the red ribbon for HIV/AIDS, and was launched in 2016. NOhep firmly positions itself at the forefront of the elimination conversation, showcasing exemplary leadership, fostering on-the-ground innovative solutions and taking action to support the policy changes needed to eliminate this cancer-causing illness by 2030. Being a part of NOhep means being part of the solution. (To find out more about the development of this exciting initiative, watch this short video: https://youtu.be/Oer-rGwnKZU )