Australia “doubles down” on elimination of malaria in Asia Pacific

Published: 21, April 2018

At the recent Malaria Summit High-Level Panel Discussion held in London, the Government of Australia announced three new initiatives as part of their support to Asia Pacific goal of malaria elimination by 2030.

  • AU$700,000 support to Australia Awards Health Security Fellowships for health security professionals from the Greater Mekong Subregion – the epicentre for antimalarial drug resistance.
  • Through Australia’s landmark Health Security Initiative, four product development partnerships (PDPs) have each been awarded AU$18.75 million over the period 2018 to 2022. With these funds:
    • The Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) will develop and facilitate the uptake of new antimalarial drugs.
    • The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) 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.
  • In July 2018, Melbourne will host the first Malaria World Congress (MWC) to boost cooperation, innovation and action for malaria elimination.

“If we can eliminate malaria on a regional basis, that is not only a public good for our region, it will be a public good globally,” said the Hon Julie Bishop, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, speaking during the London panel. 

“We believe that because malaria is preventable, and we have seen the successes, that we should continue to double-down,” she added. “Not only do we have malaria elimination as a priority in our aid program, we work closely with the Global Fund, and with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, so that we can leverage the precious resources that are available.”

Shortly after the London Summit, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) also announced a new partnership with the Therapeutic Goods Administration, building on four years of cooperation with APLMA.

‘’As one of the Health Security Initiative's early investments, DFAT has partnered with the Australian Department of Health's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to strengthen the performance of key counterpart regulatory authorities in the region.

The TGA will establish people-to-people and institutional- links with counterpart authorities to support regulatory capacity development. TGA's support will be delivered initially under the Regional Regulatory Partnership (RRP) for malaria elimination, which includes regulatory authorities from the Asia-Pacific. Co-convened by the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA) and the WHO, the RRP aims to improve the efficiency and quality of the regulatory review for new antimalarial treatments and diagnostic tests.’’

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