View this email in your browser

May news from the Alliance: What's new this month?

Malaria elimination in the Asia-Pacific: the COVID-19 threat

For World Malaria Day, Lady Roslyn Morauta (Vice-Chair of the board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria) and Dr Sarthak Das (CEO of the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance) penned an op-ed discussing the impact of COVID-19 on malaria programming in the Asia-Pacific region, and what we need to do to protect the remarkable gains made towards malaria elimination over the past two decades.

"The COVID-19 crisis has given the international community a sobering insight into the reality of health insecurity that is all too familiar to billions at risk from malaria. Beyond the sizeable economic damage, this pandemic has reminded us that health may not be everything, but nothing else matters without health." 

Read the full article published by DevPolicy here. 

A new strategy for the Australian Network of WHO Collaborating Centres

On 22 April 2021, the Executive Committee of the Australian Network of WHO Collaborating Centres (an initiative of the Australian Global Health Alliance) gathered in the Melbourne CBD to work on the Network’s new strategic plan. The session was facilitated by Mary Harney, acting Executive Director of the Alliance, and was attended by most of the Executive members in person or on Zoom. Other members were consulted prior to and after the session. The draft strategic plan will be shared with the wider WHOCC Network for their input and comments. It was a successful session in which many thoughts, sticky notes and posters were utilised to reach common consensus on where the Network is headed. Stay tuned for more! 

University of Melbourne students take part in the Emory Global Health Case Competition

A team of superstar University of Melbourne students were selected to compete against 59 other universities across the world in this year's international Global Health Case Competition (GHCC). Emma Bendall (Master of International Relations), Nigel Huckle (Master of International Relations), Claire Demeo (Doctor of Medicine), Kathy Zhang (Doctor of Medicine/Master of Public Health and former Alliance mentee), Mariam Hachem (Master of Public Health) and Charlie Higgs (Doctor of Philosophy MDHS) were tasked with developing a communications campaign to solve COVID-19 vaccination problems faced in Nigeria. Check out their final presentation here. Well done team! 

This May, join Monash University for a month of mindfulness!

Mindfulness is a proven way of boosting your performance, wellbeing and relationships. Monash is a world leader in mindfulness, providing training to over 8500 students and 2500 staff in 2020 alone.

This month, they have a number of special events including: a series of webinars with people at the forefront of the mindfulness revolution; and special Q&A sessions from Associate Professor Craig Hassed and Dr Richard Chambers from the Monash Mindfulness team. Topics include "What happens when you live mindfully for a whole year?", "Why does every child need mindfulness?" and plenty more! Check out the full agenda here. 

Mediterranean-style diet confirmed as optimal for heart health: Deakin University

New research from the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), Deakin University, has confirmed that a healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, can help minimise the risk of heart attack – even for those genetically pre-disposed to heart disease. NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow Dr Katherine Livingstone said the research published in BMJ Open presented a clear case for eating a wide variety of healthy foods, rather than restrictive diet regimes.

For her research, Dr Livingstone used existing data from the UK Biobank, a large population cohort of people aged between 40 and 69 years living in the United Kingdom. In this analysis, 77,004 men and women were followed up for an average of eight years to understand how their diet and genetics predicted later risk of heart attack.

New Oxford malaria vaccine a potential game-changer, says Prof Brendan Crabb of Burnet Institute

A new malaria vaccine by ⁦the University of Oxford has proved 77 per cent effective in early trials and is a potential major breakthrough against a disease which kills 400,000 people annually, mainly children.

Burnet’s Director and a malaria specialist, Professor Brendan Crabb AC spoke with ABC Radio Sydney’s Josh Szeps.“The holy grail is a vaccine that’s cheap and effective and highly available. And you know, we just might have it. It’s a very big discovery announced in the last week by Oxford”, said Professor Brendan Crabb AC. Read the transcript or listen to the full conversation here

Identifying breakfast ‘personalities’ in the Australian diet: Deakin University

Five breakfast ‘personalities’ have been identified in the national population in new research findings from the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), Deakin University. Dr Rebecca Leech, NHF Research Fellow & NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow, analysed data from the 2011-2012 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey and found what people eat for breakfast is broadly categorised by gender, age and socio-economic factors. The study found five distinct types of breakfast eating. Cereals accounted for about half of all breakfasts eaten by Australian adults and breads and spreads accounted for around 40 per cent.

Dr Leech said understanding the choices different population groups make when eating breakfast would help tailor meal-specific messages to encourage healthy dietary changes.

New global immunisation strategy aims to save over 50 million lives: Gavi

While immunization services have started to recover from disruptions caused by COVID-19, millions of children remain vulnerable to deadly diseases, the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance have warned.

WHO survey has found that, despite progress when compared to the situation in 2020, more than one third of respondent countries (37%) still report experiencing disruptions to their routine immunization services. Mass immunization campaigns are also disrupted. According to new data, 60 of these lifesaving campaigns are currently postponed in 50 countries, putting around 228 million people – mostly children – at risk for diseases such as measles, yellow fever and polio. 

To help tackle these challenges and support the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, WHO, UNICEF, Gavi and other partners today launched the Immunization Agenda 2030 (IA2030), an ambitious new global strategy to maximize the lifesaving impact of vaccines through stronger immunization systems. The Agenda focuses on vaccination throughout life, from infancy through to adolescence and older age. If fully implemented, it will avert an estimated 50 million deaths, according to WHO – 75% of them in low- and lower-middle income countries. Read more.

New Global Fund Report Shows Massive Disruption to Health Care Caused by COVID-19 in Africa and Asia

A new report by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria shows COVID-19 has massively disrupted health systems and health service delivery for HIV, TB and malaria in low- and middle-income countries in Africa and Asia in 2020. The report highlights the urgent need to scale up the adaptive measures that health facilities adopted to continue the fight against HIV, TB, malaria, to ramp up delivery of critical supplies for the COVID-19 response, and prevent health care systems and community responses from collapse.

Access to HIV self-tests significantly expanded and costs halved thanks to Unitaid agreement

Self-testing is a vital tool to help people discover their HIV status, giving individuals a pathway to start treatment and reducing the HIV burden globally. This is particularly relevant in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where concerns around stigma and difficulties in accessing healthcare can put up significant barriers.

The market for HIV self-tests in LMICs has improved since Unitaid first invested in 2015, but has been dominated by a single affordable test – with other later options costing at least $1 more.

Last week, Unitaid announced a significant market expansion and price reduction of around 50%, thanks to an agreement with Viatris (through its subsidiary Mylan), which will see blood-based HIV self-tests made available for less than $2 each in 135 eligible countries. Read more.

RESULTS' Policy and Advocacy Manager participates in oral COVID-19 trial

For the past few months, Results Policy & Advocacy Manager, Mark Rice, has been participating in a clinical trial for a potential oral COVID-19 vaccine. To mark World immunization Week, Mark wrote of his recent experience, and of why clinical trials are important in the development of safe and effective vaccines.

New WHO report to bolster global action to prevent shocking rates of falls: The George Institute

Falls are a growing and under-recognised public health issue globally. Every year more than 684,000 people die as a result of a fall, the majority of them in low- and middle-income countries. An additional 172 million people are left with short- or long-term disability. To address the huge global burden caused by falls, the World Health Organization (WHO) has released a new report, Step safely: Strategies for preventing and managing falls across the life-course. The report urges governments, health professionals and practitioners to take urgent action to implement the recommendations.

Contributors to Step Safely from UNSW School of Population Health, and The George Institute for Global Health, welcomed the report as a global milestone to drive much-needed action, and called for countries to implement the recommendations so they can have a real impact on lives. Read the full report here.

Global Citizen presents VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World

Global Citizen's VAX LIVE will bring together artists and leaders to celebrate the work of frontline health workers, instill vaccine confidence and call on world leaders to step up to make sure vaccines are accessible for all so we can end the pandemic for everyone, everywhere.

Hosted by Selena Gomez, VAX LIVE also features Campaign Chairs Prince Harry and Megan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and will feature performances by Jennifer Lopez, Eddie Vedder, Foo Fighters, J Balvin and H.E.R, appearances by Ben Affleck, Chrissy Teigen, David Letterman, Gayle King, Jimmy Kimmel, Nomzamo Mbatha, Olivia Munn and Sean Penn.

Tune-in: 10AM on Sunday 9 May on YouTube (it'll be on the homepage!)

NRL continues its work in the region for the SEALAB project

As part of the SEALAB project, NRL will be supporting the following five human health laboratories in Lao PDR to enhance their quality management systems (QMS): 
1.           The National Centre for Laboratory and Epidemiology, Vientiane (NCLE)
2.           Mahosot Hospital Microbiology Laboratory
3.           Champasak Provincial Hospital Laboratory
4.           Oudomxay Provincial Hospital Laboratory
5.           Sayabouly Provincial Hospital Laboratory
To ensure that NRL provides relevant, sustainable and needs-based support, NRL utilised the WHO Laboratory Quality Stepwise Implementation (LQSI) tool, and led a baseline assessment of Sayabouly and Champasak Provincial Hospital laboratories between 3 - 12 March 2021. As NRL was unable to visit Lao PDR in person, on-the-ground support was provided by NCLE and the Mérieux Foundation during the three-day assessment for each laboratory.  On 19 March 2021, a one-day visit was undertaken by the Mérieux Foundation to Mahosot Hospital Microbiology laboratory, to verify the information already collected from a previous LQSI self-assessment. No visits were performed to Oudomxay Provincial Laboratory and NCLE, as both laboratories were recently assessed using the same tool, enabling NRL to utilise the information already available through the results of these recent assessments.  
The assessment outcomes will be discussed with in-country partners and will inform the finalisation of the SEALAB workplan for Lao PDR.  Further information about the visits to Sayabouly, Champasak and Mahosot Hospital Laboratories is available at this link.

VCS Foundation presents two webinars on cancer screening

Do you work in rural or remote health in Australia? VCS Foundation is working with CRANAplus to deliver two free webinars on cancer screening.
Elimination of cervical cancer in rural/remote regions
Prof. Marion Saville AM, Executive Director, VCS Foundation
20 May 2021, 1:30-2:30pm ACST

National Cancer screening – remote/rural health disparities
Nicole Kempster RN, Clinical Liaison Nurse, VCS Foundation
27 May 2021, 1:30-2:30pm ACST

Register here

Adara Development appoints three new board directors

The Adara Group welcome Dr Cyril Engmann, Dr Peter Waiswa and Ms Yangchen Lama to the Adara boards. They bring a wealth of experience in service delivery and impact in low-resource settings, including a deep understanding of care to mothers and babies at-risk, and of the complexity of remote service delivery. 

Adara has expertise in maternal, newborn and child health, and remote community development. It delivers service through centres of excellence in Uganda and Nepal, and deepens impact through knowledge sharing. 

The appointment of these three new directors marks a significant step forward for Adara as it marks its 23rd anniversary. Their expertise will guide Adara as it scales its work and touches many more lives. Read more

New G-FINDER report ask 'Where to now?': Policy Cures Research

Data on global investment in neglected disease R&D is collected through Policy Cures Research's G-FINDER survey and analysed in their annual G-FINDER reports, which describe how R&D investment is allocated across diseases and product types, funding trends over time, and potential gaps in funding.

The 2020 G-FINDER report: Where to now? covers neglected disease R&D funding from the 2019 financial year, immediately prior to the global COVID-19 pandemic, and includes funding data for 36 neglected diseases. The report supplements the headline funding figures available from the G-FINDER data portal with a trend analysis that takes into account the impact of COVID-related changes in survey participation.

The George Institute launches new podcast on world’s biggest killers: non-communicable diseases and injury

The George Institute for Global Health is delighted to announce the launch of The Scan, a new podcast exploring the latest research, emerging evidence, and progress towards improving health outcomes in non-communicable diseases and injury around the world.

Each episode of The Scan will deep dive into a new area of global health research through interviews with experts on their latest work exploring health challenges facing communities all over the world, in particular those most at risk of being left behind. The podcast will take listeners behind the scenes to explore the most interesting, impactful, and surprising results of our research.

RESULTS needs your help to #EndTB

On the 24th of March this year, Results partnered with local councils, institutions and even football stadiums to Light up Red and shine a light on TB. This spectacular display of red across Australia was captured in a video, and features a call from Results advocates: ‘Together we can #EndTB

We need your help to share this video to your family, friends and networks to spread the word that TB is not a thing of the past. Share the video on Facebook here, and on Twitter here.



  • 22 May:  International Day for Biological Diversity
  • 23 May: International Day to End Obstetric Fistula


Caring for the carers - Supporting families in fragile settings: MCRI
In 2005, WHO decried "There is no health without mental health". The burgeoning field of global mental health recognises the contribution of mental health on the global burden of disease, and its common comorbidity with physical health.

In paediatrics, increasing evidence has found that parent mental health, coping and self-efficacy are important predictors for treatment success. In resource-poor areas, parents are expected to be a child's doctor, physiotherapist, psychologist and advocate, so a focus on supporting parents to support their children makes sense. Children living with disability are at an especially high risk of poor health and social outcomes. In fragile states and conflict-affected areas, health and social services are often weak, and children living with disability are further disadvantaged.

In the first talk, Dr Alice Morgan will examine the development of global mental health and its use of caregiver programs to support the health and wellbeing of children and families living in resource-poor areas. Dr Natalie Evans will introduce the "Mighty Children" program - a caregiver support group program developed for families with children living with disability in Afghanistan. 

•    Dr Alice Morgan, Coordinator of Clinical Psychology; Senior Clinical Psychologist RCH;  Honorary Fellow, MCRI
•    Dr Natalie Evans, Global Health Fellow, MCRI
•    Karly Cini (Chair), PhD student at MCRI and University of Melbourne, Research Officer Global Health at Burnet Institute 

Monday, 10 May
Via Zoom, or in person at the MCRI Danks Seminar Room (for campus-based staff only)

Register Here
COVID-19 variants of concern and what they mean for your health security: Burnet Institute
Please join Burnet Institute’s world-class vaccine experts at an online information session where you will learn about COVID-19 Variants of Concern and progress in the development of a game-changing second-generation vaccine booster engineered here in the Burnet laboratories.

Joining Professor Brendan Crabb AC, Director and CEO of the Burnet Institute will be Professor Heidi Drummer and Dr Andy Poumbourios, co-heads of Burnet's Viral Entry and Vaccines Group.

Friday 14 May 2021
12.00noon – 1.00pm AEST
Online via Zoom

Register here

Improving Performance in Primary Health Care Systems in LMICs: The George Institute

The Primary Health Care Research Consortium (PHCRC) is a research network led by reputed international organizations with its secretariat at the George Institute for Global Health, India. The consortium promotes evidence generation, knowledge exchange and capacity building through south-south cooperation to reduce the research to policy gap in primary health care overall for efficient policymaking in low- and middle-income countries. Continuing its webinar series Scaling New Frontiers in Primary Health Care Through Research and Partnership PHCRC is proud to announce Virtual Session 3: Improving Performance in Primary Health Care Systems in LMICs

  • Emma Iriarte: Executive Secretary of the Salud Mesoamérica Initiative (SMI), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
  • Wolfgang Munar: Program Director - Global DrPH Program, Associate Professor, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University.
  • Praveen Devarsetty (Moderator): Director, PHCRC, Program Head, Primary Health Care, The George Institute for Global Health, India
The session concludes with a Q&A session where the audience can ask questions.

7th May 2021
8:30 – 10:00 AM EDT | 6:00 – 7:30 PM IST | 2:30 – 4:00 PM ET
Register here
SAVE THE DATE: 37th Annual NRL Symposium on Infectious Diseases Testing
This year for the first time, we are introducing a face to face & virtual component to the symposium. A sign of the times and creates options for our attendees globally. 

We are pleased to announce the dates and location for this event:

11-13 October 2021
The Langham Hotel, Southbank Melbourne

Registration details to follow shortly  
ASHM: COVID-19 vaccination, HIV and priority populations in our region. What’s needed?
Did you miss the recent webinar on COVID-19 vaccination, HIV and priority populations in our region, presented by the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis & Sexual Health Medicines (ASHM), with support from the Australian Global Health Alliance? The event featured Professor Sharon Lewin, Professor Adeeba Kamarulzaman, Associate Professor Edwina Wright, Eamonn Murphy, Professor Dale Fisher and other distinguished guests who discussed what's needed to achieve an equitable path forward. 

View the recording here.
Nossal Institute for Global Health: Did you know you can study Masters level subjects? 


Accelerating tools to drive tuberculosis (TB) detection: Unitaid

Unitaid is pleased to announce a new Call for Proposals on the area for intervention: Accelerating tools to drive tuberculosis (TB) detection.

The objective of this call for proposals is to enable the optimal adaptation, introduction and placement of effective, affordable and quality-assured innovative diagnostic solutions for TB detection that consider the integration, complementarity, and fit within the current diagnostic context in high burden countries and the linkages to care in response to the needs of affected communities.

For the purpose of this call, diagnostic solutions refer to diagnostic and detection devices and platforms which could include multi-disease testing platforms, digital technologies used for contact tracing and diagnosis, CAD-enabled technology, and sample collection tools and handling. In addition, solutions with demonstrated innovation and impact in response to COVID-19 or other relevant disease areas are included. Any solution proposed should have superior performance compared to currently available tools and/or enable TB detection at the point of care.

The closing date for receipt of full proposals is Monday 24 May at 8pm AEST.



Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Deakin University

The Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN) at Deakin University is seeking HDR candidates for a range of projects, and has several scholarships available. The projects cover many aspects of physical activity and nutrition research, including lab-based projects, clinical research, public health, smart technology and implementation science.  Opportunities are open to domestic and international students currently living in Australia. For details on all available opportunities, please click here.
The George Institute

PhD Scholarship - Assessing the likely effects of AVs on public health 

A 3-year PhD stipend is now available to work on a project about the likely effects of autonomous vehicles on public health, especially in relation to diet and physical activity. The project is being funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

What we're reading, watching and listening to

🎧 A Conversation with Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund.
The Global Fund is actively working to raise and deploy money in the fight against COVID-19, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. The knock-on effects of COVID-19 are creating a perfect storm and progress made in the fight against the world’s deadliest infectious diseases – HIV, TB and malaria – is under serious threat. In 2020 alone, the economic downturn could also push up to 115 million additional people into extreme poverty. What will it take to fund and deliver an equitable global response?
📖Malaria in the Asia Pacific: A Complex But Solvable Problem
Eliminating malaria from the Asia Pacific by 2030 is an ambitious but achievable goal. It will require sustained political commitment combined with renewed investment in research and development to overcome the unique complexities of malaria in our region, writes Dr Julia Cutts.

🎧Good Will Hunters Podcast: Autumn Series with Paul Ronalds and Rachel Mason Nunn
In episode 2 of Good Will Hunter's new Autumn Series, hosts Rachel Mason Nunn and Paul Ronalds speak with Audette Exel and Jo Barraket on the evolution of NGO business models. Jo Barraket is a University Distinguished Professor and Director of the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University. She is one of Australia’s leading researchers of social enterprise and social economy. Audette Exel is the Founder of the Adara Group and CEO of its Australian Financial Services Businesses, Adara Advisors.
📖 The Zero-Dose Child Explained: Gavi

Despite decades of progress increasing access to immunisation in lower-income countries, nearly 10 million children still go without any basic, routine vaccines every year. Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is now focusing on reaching these zero-dose children.
🎧 Contain this podcast: World Mosquito Program: Professor Scott O'Neill & Professor Adi Utarini
This instalment of the Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security's podcast brings you insights on the World Mosquito Program's Wolbachia method as a means of helping communities around the world prevent the spread of mosquito borne-disease. The discussion touches on everything from the discovery of a tiny bacterium called Wolbachia to the World Mosquito Program's gold-standard trial in Indonesia which provides the most compelling evidence yet for the Wolbachia method.
📺 Global Citizen's World Immunisation Virtual Event

On April 28, in the middle of World Immunisation Week, passionate Australian Global Citizens united to hear about the importance of equitable vaccine distribution from leading experts across the medical research industry, journalism, the arts and education. Moderated by health academic and researcher Linda Kristjanson, the event saw infectious disease researcher Professor Brendan Crabb AC, health and science reporter Tegan Taylor and R&B soul artist and activist Mi-kaisha Masella answer questions about vaccine nationalism, pandemics and media transparency. 


Policy Cures Research
Senior Analyst, Neglected Diseases 
Location: Europe or Australia
Burnet Institute
Fundraising Donor Coordinator
Location: Melbourne
Manager, Trusts and Foundations (Parental Leave Cover)
Location: Melbourne 
Research Officer
Location: Melbourne 
Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations
Project Manager – DFAT Accreditation
Content Developer
Learning Coordinator

All located: Sydney
The George Institute
Research Assistant - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Program / Food Policy
Location: Sydney
Have something to share? We want to share your news, events, jobs, courses and accomplishments in our monthly ezine. Send all content through to

The Australian Global Health Alliance acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work, and pay our respects to their elders, past and present.
Copyright © 2021 Australian Global Health Alliance, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp