These Gold and Bronze sponsors of the Alliance are acknowledged for their support and global health leadership.
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In this edition

It's our last ezine of 2020 and one of our biggest and best yet! Thanks to everyone who has contributed news, stories, events and jobs throughout the year. We look forward to sharing all of your achievements in 2021 😃. 

Special event

Are we there yet? The road ahead to vaccinate Australia against COVID19

Thursday 10 December 2020
5.30pm – 6.30pm AEDT

Finding a vaccine that protects the whole community is just the first hurdle in a long list of complex logistical, ethical and practical challenges to overcome to safely and effectively immunise Australia against COVID-19. The successful rollout of a nationwide program will require a multidisciplinary, equitable and community-engaged approach and Australia's health practitioners will be front and centre to this response.
Join us at this special Q&A event, where our expert panelists will discuss the unprecedented task ahead and the challenges to delivery that will need to be addressed in the face of uncertainty of information, significant workforce training needs and rising vaccine hesitancy.

The Q&A event, moderated by Professor Nancy Baxter, Head of Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, will feature:

  • Professor Jodie McVernon: Professor and Director of Doherty Epidemiology, The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity 
  • Ms Sonja Elia: Immunisation Nurse Practitioner
  • Dr Rosalind McDougall: Senior Lecturer in Health Ethics, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
  • Dr Magdalena Simonis: Practising GP, RACGP Expert Committee Quality Care, DGP Hon Senior Lecturer, GP Opinion leader 
Register here

Alliance Chair awarded AFR's Higher Education Lifetime Achievement Award

Congratulations to Jane den Hollander AO, Chair of the Global Health Alliance Australia, for being awarded the Australian Financial Review 2020 Higher Education Lifetime Achievement Award.

The award recognises a person who has significantly advanced and improved practices in higher education and embodied the sector's values of innovation, reason, curiosity, humility and passion for creating, transmitting and receiving knowledge. So deserved!

Read more about the prestigious award here.

Australia to get new hub for infectious diseases and global health: Burnet Institute, Doherty Institute and University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne, Burnet Institute and Doherty Institute welcomed the Victorian Government’s investment in a new hub for infectious diseases and global health to be established in the world-leading Melbourne Biomedical Precinct.

The Australian Institutes for Infectious Diseases and Global Health will harness expertise from across the medical research and public health sector and create the largest and most comprehensive infectious diseases capability in Australia, improving the region’s capacity to respond to present and future pandemics and other global health issues. Read more about this terrific announcement here.

The Australian Network of WHO Collaborating Centres holds its first virtual forum!

Last month saw the first ever Australian WHO Collaborating Centres Virtual Forum – bringing together the Network of 52 WHOCCs, Australian Government Senior Officials and the WHO Regional Office of the Western Pacific. The session was opened by special guest speaker, Dr. Takeshi Kasai, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific, who provided a regional COVID19 and health update, and expressed his appreciation of the Australian WHOCCs and his interest in further collaboration with the network. It was a pleasure to also welcome Dr. Stephanie Williams, Australian Ambassador for Regional Health Security, to provide an update on the work of the Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security in the regional COVID response. Both Dr. Kasai and Dr. Williams took questions from the audience and were so generous with their time. 

The Network’s Executive Co-chair Susan Sawyer also presented the Network’s vision moving forward by introducing the 5 thematic areas of focus: Health for All; Vaccine Preparedness; COVID19; Ageing; and NCDs. 

Find out more about the Australian Network of WHO Collaborating Centres here. 

Groundbreaking Agreement Reduces by 75% the Cost of HIV Treatment for Children in Low-and Middle-Income Countries: Unitaid

A long-awaited HIV treatment designed specifically for children will now be available in low-and middle-income countries, thanks to a landmark agreement from Unitaid and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI). The new formulation is dispersible and strawberry-flavoured, enabling even the youngest children living with HIV to be treated with the best available medication

1.7 million children around the world live with HIV, but only half of them receive any treatment and 100,000 die every year. For many of these children, the HIV virus is not suppressed, due in part to the lack of availability of effective drugs that are palatable and properly adapted for them.
The new pricing agreement with generic manufacturers Viatris and Macleods means a new dispersible formulation of the recommended first-line HIV treatment dolutegravir (DTG) will be launched at a yearly cost of $36 USD per child, reduced from around $400 USD. Read more.

Marking the launch of the Global Strategy to Accelerate the Elimination of Cervical Cancer: VCS Foundation and Pacific Friends

On 17 November, following the close of the 73rd World Health Assembly, the World Health Organization officially launched the Global Strategy to Accelerate the Elimination of Cervical Cancer. To mark the occasion, iconic landmarks around the world were lit up in teal, including the Melbourne Town Hall!

The adoption of the strategy was co-led by Australia, who has a history of global leadership in cervical cancer prevention programs, technology and research. The HPV vaccine was developed at the University of Queensland by Professor Ian Frazer and the late Dr Jian Zhou, and in 2007 Australia introduced the world’s first nationwide HPV vaccination program. “Australia continues to play a leadership role in this area and I’m proud to have been a part of that. Let us all step up as scientists, women and men, community groups, politicians, and the private sector, to work together to provide all that is necessary to eliminate cervical cancer not only for our own families here in Australia but for families right across our region", said Professor Frazer.

Read more from Professor Frazer, Professor Marion Saville (VCS Foundation) and Marisol Touraine (UNITAID) on how Australia can lead the way to global cervical cancer elimination. 

Improving access to assistive technology in the Pacific: Nossal Institute

Access to affordable and appropriate assistive technology (AT) is an important but often neglected issue. AT can improve or restore health and is a precursor to many rights for persons with disabilities.
Nossal Institute for Global Health worked with partners Motivation Australia and Pacific Disability Forum to deliver the Assistive Technology Procurement Study to the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for the Western Pacific. Read more

World AIDS Day Parliamentary Breakfast 2020: AFAO and Pacific Friends

On Tuesday 1 December, AFAO in collaboration with the Department of Health, NAPWHA and Pacific Friends of Global Health ran the World AIDS Day Parliamentary Breakfast. The breakfast, which began in 2010, is typically held at Parliament House in Canberra, but this year it was held online via Zoom. A number of announcements from the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Health were welcomed during the event. Couldn't attend on the day? No problem! Listen to the recording of the World AIDS Day Parliamentary Breakfast here. 

We also recommend taking a read of this year's World AIDS Day booklet.

Family and sexual violence helpline in PNG responds to sharp rise in calls: ChildFund Australia

The COVID-19 crisis has prompted an urgent expansion of ChildFund Papua New Guinea’s 1-Tok Kaunselin Helpim Lain (715-08000), a tele-counselling service providing support to people experiencing sexual and gender-based violence in Papua New Guinea.

Established five years ago in response to PNG’s endemic levels of family violence, the national freephone helpline offers callers help on issues ranging from crisis counselling and safety planning to suicide intervention and referral to support services. Read more.

George Institute innovations receive global acclaim

A new Australian product designed to make kidney dialysis more broadly available at low cost has won first prize in a global health innovations competition.

The Affordable Dialysis System, developed by Sydney-based Ellen Medical, beat more than 500 entries from 22 countries to score top prize in the World Innovation Summit for Health 2020 Innovation Booster competition. Find out more.

2021 BioMelbourne Network Women in Leadership Awards: Nominations open

Nominations are now open for the 2021 BioMelbourne Network Women in Leadership Awards. The Awards acknowledge and celebrate leadership and commitment to driving change and impact in the health industry, and recognise the evolving stages of an impactful career. Find out more or make a nomination. Nominations close on Friday 19th February 2021.

Update to National Hepatitis C Testing Policy: NRL

The update of the National HCV Testing Policy has been endorsed by the Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmissible Infections Standing Committee (BVSS) of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee. This policy has been developed as a concise source of standardised, currently available information to inform those involved in ordering and performing hepatitis C testing.

NRL’s Director Dr Philippa Hetzel and Executive Managers Mr Wayne Dimech and Associate Professor Rosemary Ffrench form part of the  Expert Reference Committees that guide the development and updating of the national testing policies for HIV, HBV or HCV which can be viewed via the ASHM website here

Policy Cures Research presents findings from 2020 G-FINDER Report on Sexual and Reproductive Health

In November, Policy Cures Research presented key findings from its 2020 G-FINDER report on sexual and reproductive health during Male Contraceptive Initiative’s Lemonade Stand Series. Take a look!

More from the Doherty Institute's series exploring lessons learned from previous infectious disease pandemics

The Doherty Institute's limited series continued throughout November, exploring lessons learned from previous infectious disease pandemics, and how we can apply them to the COVID-19 response. Check out two of the latest columns:
  • Community, collaboration and a cascade of care: What viral hepatitis can teach us about COVID-19
    Royal Melbourne Hospital Professor Ben Cowie, Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Viral Hepatitis at the Doherty Institute and Royal Melbourne Hospital and Professor Peter Revill, senior medical scientist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Doherty Institute and co-founder of ICE-HBV highlight key lessons learned responding to viral hepatitis – and what COVID-19 can teach us in return.

  • What influenza can teach us about COVID-19
    Professor Ian Barr, Deputy Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza at the Doherty Institute looks at what learnings can be applied from influenza to COVID-19.

Sustainable sanitation jobs: prospects for enhancing the livelihoods of pit-emptiers in Bangladesh - University of WA

4.2 billion people in the world still don’t have access to a household toilet that captures and treats their waste. Millions of dollars each year are spent on trying to improve sanitation systems globally, but this has often come at the expense of some people’s human rights. For example, members of the Dalit-caste in South Asia have historically removed “night soil” from non-flush toilets and pit latrines, typically at great risk to themselves, as often this was – and still is - the only form of income generation available to them. Researchers from UWA recently published a research article on sanitation jobs in Bangladesh and discuss whether even NGO-sanctioned toilet-pit emptying mechanisms are ‘sustainable’ in terms of workers’ well-being. Have a read! 

Spend a lazy Sunday with John Legend and Global Citizen's most influential changemakers

On 20 December, Global Citizen will present the world premiere of the Global Citizen Prize, a show hosted by John Legend. The Prize will acknowledge some of this year's most influential changemakers from across the world who are leading efforts on the COVID recovery and getting back on track to meet the Global Goals. It will also include Australia's Hero award, celebrating a prominent Australian and their leading efforts in the field of global health in the context of COVID-19 and the Global Goals. The show can be streamed in Australia via YouTube on Sunday 20 December. Learn more.


2020 Anil R Sheth Award winner: Nossal Institute

Dr Nitin Kapoor received the Anil R Sheth Award at the 2020 Endocrine Society of India Annual Awards.   
Dr Kapoor's PhD study will help change policy and practice of obesity assessment in the Indian population.  This is the first study in India to assess the prevalence of normal weight obesity and to evaluate the risks associated with these characteristics. Read more.

Australian research institutes continue to ‘punch above their weight’: George Institute

Three senior George Institute researchers have once again been recognised for their work as part of a strong contingent of Australians in the global list of most highly cited, released this week.

Executive Director Professor Bruce Neal, Professorial Fellow and Dean of Medicine, UNSW Professor Vlado Perkovic and Senior Professorial Fellow Mark Woodward were all included in the 2020 Highly Cited Researchers by leading global insights and analytics company Clarivate.

According to Clarivate, Australian research institutes continue to punch above their weight with a total of 305 researchers recognized in 2020 out of a population of just 25 million! Read more here.

How health volunteers are helping to prevent child malnutrition in Timor-Leste: ChildFund Australia

High rates of stunting, wasting and malnutrition among young children in Timor-Leste often results from a lack of access to health information and healthcare. ChildFund is training community health volunteers to monitor the growth and health of children in their rural villages, refer them to health professionals when required, and help parents and caregivers understand how good health, hygiene, and nutrition can improve their children’s development. Read more. 


NRL Delivers Virtual EQAS Training in Indonesia

From 23 – 25 November 2020, NRL conducted a virtual training on the theory, concepts and processes relating to the provision of External Quality Assessment Schemes (EQAS) for the Republic of Indonesia Ministry of Health’s four Provincial Health Laboratories, Balai Besar Laboratorium Kesehatan (BBLK) Jakarta, Palembang, Makassar and Surabaya. The training aimed to:
  • Strengthen the quality of current EQA programs
  • Enable the BBLKs to provide HIV viral load and early infant diagnosis EQAS within the next two years
The training was facilitated by Yayasan KNCV Indonesia, funded by the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) and supported by the National AIDS Program at the Ministry of Health in Indonesia. 

What's on in global health

3 December: International Day of Persons with Disabilities

10 December: Are we there yet? The road ahead to vaccinate Australia against COVID19 free webinar
12 December: International Universal Health Coverage Day

Upcoming events & courses

Shifting the Needle: Protecting Australia by Vaccinating our Region

Thursday, December 3, 2020
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM AEDT

Register here and join us on online

COVID-19 has set the developing world back 25 years in just 25 weeks. Access to an emerging vaccine will be critical in reversing that slide. 

Join RESULTS Australia on 3 December from 1pm-2pm AEDT to discuss how Australia can support our region to recover. The Guardian's Ben Doherty will be in conversation with RESULTS' CEO Negaya Chorley, public health pioneers Bill Bowtell and Dr Bobby John along with Kate Reagh and April Wong from MinterEllison.

Call for Abstracts and Expressions of Interest: 2021 Humanitarian Leadership Conference

The Centre for Humanitarian Leadership is holding its Humanitarian Leadership Conference on 28-29 April 2021.  The conference will work to determine where change is needed and what a reshaping of the humanitarian ecosystem might look like, from the actors involved and ways of working to the very definition of what constitutes a humanitarian crisis.

The Conference will challenge traditional humanitarian systems, actors and perceptions through the following sub-themes: decolonising the humanitarian ecosystem; leadership in a world of upheaval and crisis; transformative ways of working; and the political economy of aid and solidarity.

The Call for Abstracts and Expressions of Interest are now open. Submissions close 9 December 2020.


Key Granting Bodies 

What we're reading, watching and listening to:

🕮 'You can’t make malaria wait': Hidden risks in COVID-19 foreign aid: Burnet Institute and Pacific Friends

Australia needs to be careful that its generous pledge of almost $1.2 billion to help fight COVID-19 in neighbouring countries does not fix one problem while overlooking other health challenges, experts warn

🕮 How the lessons the world learned in the fight against HIV can help us defeat COVID: The Global Fund 

World AIDS Day reminds us that while we battle to contain COVID-19, we still haven’t finished the fight against the last big pandemic to hit humanity. We must draw on the lessons from the fight against HIV to inform our response to the new virus, writes Peter Sands, Executive Director, The Global Fund

🕮 Human rights ‘pushed to the curb’ in the world’s rush to a Covid-19 vaccine: Policy Cures Research

It has been repeated since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic – universal and equitable access to a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine is the only way to truly overcome the pandemic and return to “normal” life. Yet, the current approach is leading the world far off this path, says Human Rights Watch.

📺 AFAO's 2020 World AIDS Day video 

World AIDS Day falls on 1 December each year and is a day to show our support for people with HIV and to commemorate people who we have lost to the epidemic. Take a look at AFAO's new video to mark the day.

🕮 Four reasons why we need multiple vaccines for Covid-19: Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

Having a range of Covid-19 vaccines available for people to use around the world will be essential to bringing the pandemic under control. Here’s why. 
🕮 What can we learn from COVID-19 in addressing infectious diseases like TB? RESULTS Australia

RESULTS' Head of Campaigns, Shiva Shrestha, sees COVID19 an opportunity to press the reset button.
🎧 Contain This: Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security's Podcast 

In the first episode of their new Talking Global series, Head of Centre Robin Davies talks to: Dr David Nabarro, Special Envoy on COVID-19 to the World Health Organization's Director-General; Sunia Soukai, The Pacific Community; Sandii Lwin, Myanmar; and global health specialist Helen Evans
🕮 Reflections on World AIDS Day

While we all recognise and lament the setbacks of 2020, it’s important to remain focused, writes RESULTS Grassroots Advocate, Markos Hasiotis
🕮 World Toilet Day - Sanitation is a 4-Ply Issue: University of WA

The 19th of November is the biggest day in our professional calendar: World Toilet Day. Upon reading this, the normal reaction from the public is to laugh: why could we possibly need a day to celebrate and advocate for toilets? Dr Dani Barrington Dr Naomi Francis break it down.

Great Global Health Jobs and PhD Opportunities

Multiple vacancies
ChildFund Australia
EOI – Consultant to develop teacher training materials and curriculum in PNG

Executive Assistant & Office Manager
The George Institute
Research Associate - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Program

PhD Scholarship Opportunity: Influence of sex and socioeconomic status on stroke diagnostics and treatment through Big Data analyses

Development Manager, Australia
Georgia Global Health Alliance
Multiple vacancies 
The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
Multiple vacancies
Global Health Council
Multiple vacancies 
The Leprosy Mission Australia
International Programs Officer
Melbourne Children's Global Health
Multiple vacancies
Grade 2 Medical Scientist (External Quality Assessment Schemes Division)

Senior Scientist (Research & Development)

RESULTS Australia
Lead Advocacy Group Coordinator

Lead Advocacy Group Member
Save The Children
Multiple vacancies 
Triangle Global Health Consortium
Multiple vacancies
Victorian Infection & Immunity Network
Multiple vacancies
Washington Global Health Alliance
Multiple vacancies
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