Efforts to Contribute toward Prevention of Gastric Cancer and Peptic Ulcer Caused by H. pylori in China

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January, 2018

H. pylori (Hp) is a pathogenic factor that causes peptic ulcer and gastric cancer. Through socialization with Hp positive patients, employees from Eisai China’s GIBU (Gastrointestine & Liver Business Unit) noticed that patients have a strong desire to both prevent and treat Hp. A plan to prevent and eradicate Hp effectively started in 2015.

The average Hp infection rate in China is about 55% and the child Hp infection rate is about 40%. As a result, it is estimated that about 800 million people is positive for Hp. Hp is a contagious bacterium, and Hp infection routes are mainly mouth-to-mouth infection and fecal-oral infection. For example, people will be infected by receiving food from a shared bowl or plate using their own chopsticks and by eating contaminated foods after more than 12 hours passed since they were originally cooked.

Eisai China launched the Serving Chopsticks* Project. The project aims to raise awareness of Hp infection, firstly by adding Hp inspection to health checkup of employees at Suzhou plant, and conducting Hp inspection after educational activities for employees. As a result, Eisai China was evaluated in terms of its contribution to employees’ healthcare and received the “Best Innovation Health Award” from Mercer as part of their “China Best Health Employer Award.” Moreover, Eisai China collaborated with a hospital in Shanghai and held educational activities to encourage patients to use serving chopsticks. Eisai China received favorable comments from patients that the activity is different to ordinary advertising campaigns and very heart-warming. In addition, Eisai China expanded the Serving Chopsticks Project in the community, along with the local government of Shanghai Jing'an District. Over 95% people in Jing’an District got to know Hp after a series of activities. With a total of more than 2,300 employees, patients, business partners and Shanghai Jing'an District officials, Eisai China conducted 55 activities in total such as patient education and community network building, contributing to health promotion of patients, communities and employees, developing a comprehensive approach including raising doctors’ awareness of Hp eradication.

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    Using a set of chopsticks exclusively for serving food instead of using one’s own chopsticks to take food from a common serving bowl or plate.

In 2017, Eisai China worked to raise awareness among children. Usually Hp infection happens in infancy or childhood, and if the parents or grandparents are infected with Hp, their children are more likely to be infected. The infection can do a lot of harm to children such as malnutrition, and once infected with Hp, it is difficult to resolve spontaneously and infection persists. Through increased socialization, Eisai China discovered that if the parents or grandparents know the negative effects of Hp and the necessity of eradication, they are more willing to develop “Serving Chopsticks” good hygiene habits, take Hp tests and eradication therapy to prevent their children or grandchildren from Hp infection. Eisai China is making a great effort to educate the younger generation’s parents and grandparents, in order to make a virtuous circle - if parents and grandparents are Hp negative, the younger generation are less likely to get infected, and their children will not be infected either. The slogan for 2017 to 2018 is “For your own, For your next generation, For human health!”

Image character and portable chopsticks to raise awareness
Various activities of “The Serving Chopsticks Project”