Professor Mohammad Ali (2021)
Founder, National Liver Foundation of Bangladesh
Our organization is working every day to achieve the 2030 goals and is dedicated to reaching the unreachables and underprivileged communities. When people living with hepatitis B or C come to us, we provide them with whatever they need- whether access to care or money to purchase medicines. And we will continue to do this as a non-profit organization working for prevention and education and research on liver disease in Bangladesh.
Professor Ali is a trained surgeon and hepatitis advocate. He performed the first successful liver transplant in Bangladesh at BIRDEM Hospital in June 2010 and the second Liver Transplant in August 2011. Alongside his clinical work, Professor Ali founded the National Liver Foundation of Bangladesh (NLFB) in 1999. The NLFB is a philanthropic organization that is dedicated to prevention, treatment, and research on liver disease in Bangladesh.
"Our country has a lot of problems, including the burden of hepatitis B and C. There was no other organization working for control of hepatitis in Bangladesh, a country of 150 million people. 65% of the population is in the rural areas, so I went to the rural areas and asked a lot of people what they know about hepatitis. But they did not know anything. They were silently suffering and dying. This gloomy experience inspired me to create a program to reach the common people at the grassroots level,” says Dr. Ali on the founding of the NLFB.
NLFB is an active member of the World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA), and Professor Ali brought WHA’s NoHep and Find the Missing Millions Campaigns to underserved communities in Bangladesh to amplify efforts to find, test, and treat persons living with viral hepatitis. These campaigns provide testing and treatment at no cost to the patient, saving lives and averting chronic disability. In 2017, Professor Ali’s NoHep Drive toured all 8 divisions of Bangladesh, distributing more than 30,000 information sheets and providing free hepatitis B screening to 120 children in Sylhet. In another NOHep campaign, Dr. Ali focused on testing the Rohingya refugee population, resulting in a study showing a shockingly high prevalence of hepatitis C among this population. Over the years, Professor Ali has also initiated hepatitis B & C patient conferences to increase awareness among patients & their families, introduced NOHep cricket to engage the youth, conducted free testing and vaccination of thousands of orphan children, and through the Zakat fund offered free treatment of under-privileged young hepatitis B & C patients.
Professor Ali is an active advocate for hepatitis elimination. He is one of the signatories of the Resolution on Viral Hepatitis that was accepted by the Sixty-third World Health Assembly in May 2010 and recognized a global World Hepatitis Day on July 28th. He also worked as a country representative with the WHO SEARO office to create a regional strategy for the prevention and control of viral hepatitis in South-East Asia.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Ali intensified his efforts to test and treat hepatitis patients. He utilized telehealth to continue consultations with hepatitis patients, provided guidance on continuing hepatitis treatment, and used a courier service to deliver treatment to patients.