Letter of Iran Hepatitis Network’ Director to New Prime Minister of Canada

His Excellency Mr. Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada,

First of all, I would like to extend congratulations on your impressive victory and your appointment to the post of Prime Minister of Canada.
I am writing this letter to you from Pars Land, the birthplace of Avicenna (Doctor of Doctors) and I know that you and western people are aware of this proficient doctor’s valuable services to humanity in the past centuries.
Over the last decades, one of the most important health problems which has affected the health of millions of people annually and has led to their morbidity and mortality has been viral hepatitis. It is worth to know that just hepatitis C kills more than HIV in the world these days; however, little attention gives to viral hepatitis. The importance of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C should not be forgotten by governments and we all need to fight them until the victory has been achieved.
Hepatitis B and C are viral diseases of liver which can result in liver cirrhosis and liver cancer in a period of time. These infections can be transmitted through mother to child during childbirth, unsafe sexual contact, using shared needles and transfusion with contaminated blood and blood products. After the initial acute phase of the disease, some patients enter to the chronic phase of hepatitis. The chronic infection of hepatitis B and C requires management and treatment. The treatment for hepatitis B is life-long in the most of cases; however, the treatment of hepatitis C has been revolutionized through the recent years and the infection of hepatitis C can be eradicated in around 100% of patients with the new medications. Unfortunately, these new treatments of hepatitis C are very expensive and almost they are not available and affordable for patients in developing countries where the frequency of hepatitis C is high; therefore, the burden of liver diseases caused by hepatitis C can be a serious problem in the next decade.
Recent changes in the Middle East and Asia have led to alarming prevalence of Hepatitis B and C. For instance, Egypt, Pakistan and Azerbaijan are the countries with the high frequency of hepatitis C, and China, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia are the countries with the high frequency of hepatitis B. It is worth to say that Iran has the low frequency of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C in the Middle East, Asia and the world. This low frequency of viral hepatitis in Iran is belonged to Iranian life style, governmental management to prevent the transmission and activity of many key persons inside and outside of the country. Hopefully, it can be stated that Iran is the leading country in Middle East fighting with Hepatitis B and C. There are many research centers doing large-scale studies on viral hepatitis and many clinics to treat and manage the viral hepatitis. Moreover, to connect these centers, we have a virtual network calling “Iran Hepatitis Network” which was founded and managed by myself. Six International Tehran Hepatitis Conferences, which have been held by Iran Hepatitis Network biannually, have been the other leading scientific events to make a link between scientists, researchers, specialists and medical centers from Iran and the world. The cooperation and presence of EASL, the European Association for the Study of the Liver, in Iran indicates the close relationship of this network with valid medical centers around the world as well. Furthermore, “Hope Health Club” as a non-governmental organization (NGO) which seeks a healthy lifestyle for people all over the world was founded last year. This foundation tries to supply comprehensive educational materials covering the signs, symptoms and treatment of many of the prevalent forms of the liver disease.
As you know, on the one hand, human health damages causing by several wars and the destruction of civilian infrastructure including drinking water resources, health services, poor sanitation, and also contaminated blood transfusion to wounded people have led to high incidence of hepatitis in the Middle East, and on the other hand the high rate of immigration of fugitives to western countries intensifies these diseases’ outbreak.
Therefore, the need for establishing a scientific and medical center, making appropriate prevention decisions, treatment and control of these diseases has been highlighted more than ever. Hence, holding scientific conferences and specialist liver-specific training courses in region with contribution of countries in and out of region will help us to learn about the latest advances in interdisciplinary hepatitis research and provide an opportunity in which international exchanges between leading experts in the field of hepatitis treatment and elimination take place. Moreover, societies and governments will be able to identify the roadblocks which are preventing collaborative implementation of national action plans. I hope that the new government of Canada helps Iran, as the leading country, by providing an opportunity in which transfer of experience and science among researchers and scientists is facilitated. I look forward to hearing from you and sincerely wish you every success in your new appointment.

Yours sincerely,
Founder and Director of Iran Hepatitis Network
Founder and Director of Hope Health Club
Seyed Moayed Alavian, M.D.
Professor of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

November, 2015

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