Malaria remains a health security threat for many in our region. Today at the Malaria Summit High-Level Panel Discussion at CHOGM in London, I announced three new initiatives as part of our goal to eliminate malaria in the Indo-Pacific by 2030.
In July 2018, Melbourne will host the first Malaria World Congress (MWC) to boost cooperation, innovation and action for malaria elimination.
Australia will also support the Australia Awards Health Security Fellowships for health security professionals from the Greater Mekong Subregion – the epicentre for antimalarial drug resistance.
The Australian Government is providing $700,000 for these important new initiatives.
In addition, through Australia’s landmark Health Security Initiative, four Product Development Partnerships (PDPs) have each been awarded $18.75 million over the period 2018 to 2022. With these funds:
- the Medicines for Malaria Venture will develop and facilitate the uptake of new antimalarial drugs;
- the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics will accelerate the development and adoption of better diagnostic tools and testing protocols for TB and malaria;
- the Innovative Vector Control Consortium will develop and disseminate vector control technologies for malaria and other deadly mosquito-borne diseases; and
- the TB Alliance will research new TB drugs and treatment regimens, including for drug-resistant TB.
Commonwealth countries bear 90 per cent of the world’s malaria burden. Malaria and TB are increasingly difficult to treat due to the emergence of drug resistance, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region.
This announcement increases Australia’s annual funding for PDPs from $10 million to $15 million and provides funding certainty for up to five years.
In my role as the End Malaria Council’s first and only representative from the Indo-Pacific, these are important initiatives to progress malaria elimination regionally and globally. Since being invited to join the End Malaria Council in 2017, I have used this platform to champion malaria action in our region, which suffers one of the highest malaria burdens outside sub-Saharan Africa.
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