Hepatitis B Free is a non government organization dedicated to working together towards a world free of hepatitis B. We raise awareness and improve access to immunisation, testing, treatment and care for hepatitis B in areas with limited resources. We have active projects in New Guinea, Australia, Myanmar, Kiribati, and the DPRK and are developing additional projects in other countries in the Pacific.
240 million people worldwide are living with chronic hepatitis B. The prevalence in Papua New Guinea and in other countries where we work is estimated to be over 8%, considered high by the World Health Organization. Safe, effective one-pill-a-day medications have not available for most people in PNG, North Korea, and other countries where we work. Without treatment, people living with hepatitis B are at risk of liver cancer, liver scarring and death.
Hepatitis B Free facilitates treatment of hepatitis B with antiviral therapy for those in whom it is clinically indicated. Health care workers are trained how to screen patients, deliver and monitor treatment. Vaccinations for persons at risk are administered. Educational pamphlets for patients with hepatitis and their families have been developed.
The project will treat as many people as possible in PNG and the other countries in which we work. We already have over 600 patients on treatment in the DPRK. This therapy reduces the risk of developing liver cirrhosis, liver cancer and other complications of hepatitis, allows those infected to live long and healthy lives, and helps them to continue supporting themselves and their families.