Liver diseases are on the increase all over the world, with for example nearly 500 million persons infected by viral hepatitis, which may be causes of cancers and cirrhosis. Eastern Europe, Middle East and above all Asian countries are particularly affected by the phenomenon. In China for example, the official number of people affected by the hepatitis B is 130 million, which allow to forecast the development of around 50 million liver cancers in 10 or 20 years. But taking in charge those patients requires a heavy treatment, medical (anti viral treatment) and surgical (hepatic resection and hepatic transplantation). Many patients are currently dying because they cannot be operated properly by specialists.
In France, hepatic surgery has remarkably developed, clinically as well as on a research point of view. A specialised centre has been created 10 years ago in Villejuif, near Paris : the main idea was to create a multidisciplinary team for a global approach and treatment of the diseases, in order to be efficient and economical. Pr. Henri Bismuth conceived the Hepatobiliary Centre of the Paul Brousse Hospital, then directed his realization and activities until 2002. The Villejuif Hepatobiliary Centre has introduced numerous innovations in hepatic surgery and in hepatic transplantation since it opened. It has got a high influence, nationally and on a European and world level.
There is a large demand all over the world for the creation of such centres, where patients suffering from liver diseases could be totally taken in charge. Because of this need, and conscious of the international competition that exists in the field of high medical technology, Pr. Bismuth wishes to promote the model of the Hepatobiliary Centre in the world. This initiative is also a powerful vehicle for the diffusion of French high medical technology.
Consequently, Pr. Bismuth and the French Department of Foreign Affairs, with the help of the French President, have developed the project to create in China a high technology centre. The aim of this centre, called French-Chinese Liver Diseases Institute, is to take charge of liver diseases. It is currently being built in Wuhan.
Progress made in the realization of this centre, very positive reactions of French and Chinese authorities, and the considerable involvement of the Chinese medical authority demonstrate the success of the initiative. This is why the Henri Bismuth Hepatobiliary Institute now wishes to develop this program in other countries. The method used s the following: create a partnership with authorities in the countries, help them to build an operational centre (on the model of the one in Villejuif), then train part of the staff in specialised centres in France. The aim is for this persons (surgeons and nurses) to be able, once they will be back in their country, to train the rest of the staff of the new specialised centre.
Pr. Bismuth would like to create such Hepatobiliary Centres all over the world: in Asia, Eastern Europe, Middle East and South America.