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In this edition

Australian Government commits $500m for COVID19 immunisation across the region 

Earlier this month, we welcomed the announcement from the Australian Government of a $500 million pledge to support the Pacific and South East Asia to safely and effectively roll out COVID19 immunisation programs over the next three years.

This historic commitment builds on an already unprecedented level of support to the region, with a $305m package announced in the October budget to support the Pacific and Timor Leste’s COVID recovery and support.

Professor Brendan Crabb AC, Chair of Pacific Friends of Global Health said: “COVID19 threatens to derail decades of progress in global health in our region. For some of our closest neighbours, like PNG, deaths from diseases like TB, HIV and malaria are increasing due to overwhelmed health systems and a diversion of resources away from routine programs towards the covid response. Helping our neighbours to recover from this pandemic is not only the right thing to do, but crucial to the prosperity and health security of our region. This pandemic isn’t over until it’s over for everyone.”

Read our full statement here.

Pacific Friends of Global Health brief Parliamentary Friends of our Pacific Family


On the 28th of October, Pacific Friends of Global Health provided a special briefing for members of the parliamentary friends group, Friends of our Pacific Family.

Pacific Friends is a key advocacy partner for three of the world’s most significant global health organisations: the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; and UNITAID.

Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and Dr Philippe Duneton, Executive Director of Unitaid, updated on the three organisations’ work to speed up an end to the pandemic, via the therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccines pillars of the Access to COVID Tools (ACT) Accelerator. 

Dr Berkley also spoke to Radio National's Fran Kelly about the prospects for COVID vaccines, treatments and tests. You can listen to the interview here

UnitaidExplore launches new paediatric formulations call 

Unitaid is delighted to announce the next call for its agile funding mechanism UnitaidExplore.

Following the success of the last round of applications to expand access to oxygen, the next call focuses on one of the most challenging issues in global health - paediatric medicine formulations.

There is currently a huge deficit in the availability of fit-for-purpose treatments tailored for children living in LMICs and affected by the deadliest infectious diseases. 

This call challenges innovators to propose a solution that can be applied to medicines for children in LMICs, leading to improvements in care and ultimately lives saved. 

Unitaid's Director of Strategy Janet Ginnard said: "Unitaid is deeply committed to children’s health. Through UnitaidExplore, we are seeking bright ideas to make better child-friendly medicines a reality.”

The deadline for submissions is November 25th and full details can be found here.

Conversations on COVID19 - The Global View: University of Melbourne

The Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, has a new series, Conversations on COVID-19: The Global View. Dr Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the US, joined Professor Shitij Kapur, Dean of the Faculty  and Professor Sharon Lewin, Director of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, to discuss what it means to be a public expert managing the COVID19 pandemic. You can watch the discussion online.

Island countries, pandemic fatigue and declining death rates: the latest COVID-19 global trends and analyses from the Burnet Institute

Have you checked out the Burnet Institute's Knowledge Hub for COVID-19 yet? The Know C-19 Hub is the gateway to the Burnet's research findings, policy and technical reports, and also latest news about Burnet’s COVID-19 work. The latest report, authored by Professor Mike Toole AM, Scott Umali, Dr Suman Majumdar and Dr Ben Coghlan, explores COVID19 trends in island countries, strategies for preventing pandemic lockdown fatigue and declining global COVID-19 case fatality ratios. 

Read the latest report, or explore the Know C-19 Hub for yourself.

Healing Health: A new podcast from Deakin's Institute for Health Transformation

Imagine our health systems were people.
Right now, they’d probably be feeling sick, overwhelmed and stressed.
It’s time to start a conversation about the health of our healthcare systems.

Presented by Deakin University’s Institute for Health Transformation, Healing Health explores some of the biggest issues facing our health systems and the best ways to deliver care. Recorded pre-COVID-19, Healing Health’s conversations point to the underlying challenges in our healthcare systems that have been amplified during the pandemic, and the urgent need to address them. Each episode highlights the different work being done locally to change and transform the way we deliver preventive strategies and healthcare globally. Join host Amber Petty and some of Australia’s leading health researchers as they explore various cures for the ills of healthcare and discover that recovery is not just possible – it’s already happening. Listen here or subscribe through your favourite podcast streaming service.

World Scabies Program launches in Fiji: MCRI

On the 27th October 2020, the World Scabies Program (WSP) held its first National Steering Committee meeting at the Fiji Centre for Disease Control. This meeting signalled the launch of the World Scabies Program in Fiji by bringing together senior health and government representatives with staff from Melbourne via video conference.

The World Scabies Program, headed by Professor Andrew Steer, is a partnership between the Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

Fiji will be one of the first countries in the world to roll out a nationwide scabies elimination program and will be a model for other countries. Approximately one in every five Fijians is at risk of having scabies at any given time, with children at a higher risk. The intense itch and scratching caused by the scabies mites can break the skin, leading to infections and potentially more serious conditions such as kidney disease and rheumatic heart disease.

This program is based on key research by MCRI, conducted in partnership with the Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) and the Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney, that has shown that scabies prevalence can be reduced by more than 90 per cent with a single community wide treatment. WSP will scale up this approach to the whole population of Fiji, with an aim to essentially eliminate scabies as a public health problem.

The program was recently featured on Fiji One News - take a look! 

Winners announced at the RESULTS Australia Leadership Awards

RESULTS Australia announced the winners of its annual Leadership Awards at a ceremony last week in Sydney. The Awards acknowledge the hard work and commitment of RESULTS’ advocates and key partners in parliament, the media, and the not-for-profit and corporate sectors.

Lady Roslyn Morauta, Vice-Chair of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, opened the evening with reflections on her work globally and in PNG. She was followed by Professor Julie Leask, a leading vaccine researcher from the University of Sydney, who provided some insights into communicating about vaccines.

RESULTS’ CEO Negaya Chorley said, “We were delighted that these excellent speakers could join us to provide a ‘big picture’ on global health, including and beyond COVID.”

“In the last year Australia has made major investments in the work of the Global Fund, as well as in polio eradication, childhood vaccination – and of course, in COVID-related economic support and vaccine provision for countries in our region. The work of RESULTS’ advocates and partners ensures that these investments have maximum impact in saving lives,” said Ms Chorley.

See the full list of winners here. Congratulations to everyone! 

NRL to Develop Guidelines for the Design and Implementation of Post-Market Monitoring of Near Patient In-vitro Diagnostic Devices

NRL is developing and finalizing guidance for end-users on how to conduct quality monitoring of in vitro diagnostics (IVDs) and to develop use cases for better supply of end-user quality control materials and proficiency testing panels.  In association with the WHO Regulation and Safety (REG)/Incidents and Substandard/Falsified Medical Products (ISF) group, NRL will develop guidelines that will inform Global Fund and other procurers of near-patient testing IVDs on how to establish a quality assurance and post market framework. Find out more here.

A new series exploring lessons learned from previous infectious disease pandemics: The Doherty Institute

The Doherty Institute has launched a new limited series of columns 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:
  • What can TB teach us about how to respond to COVID-19? 
    "While COVID-19 has indeed brought challenges for TB management, we’ve also realised that our long history of public health for TB has taught us critical lessons that we can use to help us respond better to COVID-19; here’s my top four", writes Associate Professor Justin Denholm, Director of the Victorian Tuberculosis Program 
     
  • Increasing inequality: What malaria can teach us about COVID-19?
    "Disadvantage breeds infection", "community engagement is critical", "rapid diagnostics are a game changer" and more from Professor Stephen Rogerson, laboratory head at the Doherty Institute and Chief Investigator of the Australian Centre of Research Excellence in Malaria Elimination (ACREME) and Dr Julia Cutts, senior postdoctoral research at the Burnet Institute and Project Manager of ACREME.

New funding to evaluate local health care alliances in NSW: The George Institute

Professor David Peiris from The George Institute for Global Health and UNSW has received $956,000 in NHMRC Partnership funding for a project that aims to strengthen health system performance in NSW.

“Widening inequities, large variations in the quality of care, and uncontrolled growth in health care spending - which now represents more than ten percent of GDP – are threatening the sustainability of Australia’s healthcare system and ultimately the nation’s prosperity” Professor Peiris said. 

“This project involves an exciting NSW policy reform program, Collaborative Commissioning, which will support formation of local alliances between Local Hospital Districts and Primary Health Networks.  These alliances, Patient Centred Co-commissioning Groups (PCCGs), will be tasked with developing new ways of working to achieve better patient outcomes more efficiently,” he added.

Contribute to Nossal Institute research

How Are You Going? is the Nossal Institute’s online survey focused on assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on overall well-being, health and economic circumstances of individuals and households across the globe.  As respondents have already shown, every experience is unique, and we’d love to hear yours. Complete the survey and let us know How Are You Going?

Making a splash on Global Handwashing Day: ChildFund

While handwashing is one of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of infectious disease, 40 per cent of the world’s population do not have access to soap and water at home. On Global Handwashing Day, ChildFund Australia CEO Margaret Sheehan says the COVID-19 pandemic has been an important reminder of how a simple intervention can save lives. Find out more.

Inaugural Jian Zhou medal awarded to Professor Steer: Melbourne Children's Global Health

Professor Andrew Steer has received the inaugural Jian Zhou Medal, awarded to a rising star of Australian health and medical science in recognition of their significant impact in translational health and medical science, and was elected as one of 28 new Fellows into the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.

Professor Steer was recognised as an international leader in paediatric and tropical infectious diseases research. He has led a series of world-first landmark studies in his fields of research, including the first comparative trial of community-based interventions for scabies control, the largest trial of scabies treatment with over 26 000 participants. He has also led the seminal study of the global distribution of group A streptococcal strains and the first genome-wide association study of rheumatic heart disease. Professor Steer’s research has changed international clinical and public health understanding and practice of these diseases and has measurably improved the lives of people suffering from these conditions. Read more, or hear from Prof Steer himself in the video! 

Missed the World Polio Day Event? We've got you covered: RESULTS Australia and Global Citizen

A virtual World Polio Day event, jointly organised by Global Citizen, UNICEF Australia, RESULTS Australia, Polio Australia and Rotary, received great support and participation. The full event replay is available to watch on Facebook and Vimeo. The event highlighted the impact of COVID-19 on polio eradication work and the need for Australia to step up our support to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). If you want to learn how you can influence your elected representative to take action on polio, join RESULTS Australia’s next Monthly Action Call

Head-to-head comparison of antibody detection assays for SARS-CoV-2: NRL

NRL is conducting a comprehensive evaluation of COVID19 serology test kits designed to detect antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 virus on behalf of the WHO Emergency Use Group.  Since the onset of the pandemic, hundreds of serology test kits otherwise referred to as in-vitro diagnostic devices (IVDs) have been released for use without manufacturers being required to undergo formal conformity assessment and provide comprehensive evidence of performance characteristics of the IVD.  Using the extensive experience in IVD evaluations, NRL and WHO will evaluate up to 40 serology IVDs based on an evaluation design that is comprehensive and able to assesses all relevant performance characteristics such as analytical and clinical sensitivity, clinical specificity, precision, lot-to-lot variation, limit of detection, seroconversion sensitivity, and the influences of cross-reacting and interfering substances. Find out more.

What's on in global health

14 November: World Diabetes Day

11 November: WHO Collaborating Centres virtual forum, with guest speaker Dr Takeshi Kasai, Dr Stephanie Williams and Dr Angie Bone
 
19 November: World Toilet Day

1 December: World AIDS Day Parliamentary Breakfast

Upcoming (online) events & courses

World AIDS Day Parliamentary Breakfast 


Mr Tim Wilson MP and Senator Louise Pratt, Chair and Deputy Chair of the Parliamentary Friends for Action on HNI AIDS, Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmitted Injections, together with the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations, the National Association of People with HN Australia, and Pacific Friends of the Global Health invite you to the 2020 World AIDS Day Parliamentary Breakfast.

7:20am arrival for 7:30am commencement
Tuesday 1 December 2020 
Join us on Zoom

 
Guest Speakers
  • Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs 
  • Senator the Hon Penny Wong, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs 
  • The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health 
  • The Hon Chris Bowen MP, Shadow Minister for Health
  • Professor Dr Adeebo Komarulzaman, President, International AIDS Society 
  • Professor Brendan Crabb AC, Director and CEO, Burnet Institute; Chair, Pacific Friends of Global Health
  • Mr Scott Harlum, President, National Association of People with HIV Australia
  • Ms Felicity Young, National President, Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations 
  • Ms Michelle Tobin, Chair, Anwernekenhe Notional HIV Alliance 
 
RSVP: By Friday 20 November
Email Giorgia Callaghan giorgia.callaghan@afao.org.au

Murdoch Children's Research Institute


PDI-MCGH Global Health November Forum
Topic: Anti-Microbial Resistance: What could the future look like?
 

This seminar, involving three researchers at the forefront of AMR in Global Health, give unique perspectives, new insights and their thoughts on both the current AMR situation and on what the future could look like.
  • Dr Sarah Dunstan: Senior Research Fellow, Doherty Institute - “What could the future look like: Genomics for diagnosis of MDR TB and its potential for use in TB high burden countries”
  • Prof. Ben Howden: Director of the Microbiological Diagnostic Unit Public Health Laboratory (MDU PHL), Medical Director of the Doherty Centre for Applied Microbial Genomics and Head of the Howden Research Group at the Doherty Institute - “Pathogen genomics and AMR – what does it tell us and how should we use it in future to deal with the threat of AMR?”
  • A/Prof Kirsty Buising: Deputy Director of the National Centre for Antimicrobial Stewardship and chief investigator for the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funded Centre for Research Excellence in Antimicrobial Stewardship (Topic TBC)
  • Chair: Prof. Stephen Rogerson - Head of the Malaria Laboratory, Peter Doherty Institute
12.30-1.30pm, 23rd November 2020
Join us on Zoom
For more information, reach out to Katherine.lim50@mcri.edu.au
 

The Albion Centre

 
COVID-19 has caused major disruption to the way health services provide care and health education services provide healthcare worker training.  However, high quality professional education on HIV, STIs and BBVs is still available online from Albion Education & Development, and self-isolation or working from home can be a great opportunity to catch up on professional development.  Places in the following courses are available free of charge:

HIV & Ageing

19th October - 22nd November


Acquire Sensible Knowledge - Introduction to HIV for Healthcare Workers

19th October - 22nd November

 
Don’t forget to check out this calendar for information on other Albion Education & Development courses!   
 
To apply or seek more information, please contact: 
education@thealbioncentre.org.au

Grants 


Key Granting Bodies 

What we're reading, watching and listening to:

🕮 30 years after the World Summit for Children, great progress now under threat: RESULTS 

September saw the 30th anniversary of the World Summit for Children – a landmark event for action on improving the lives of the world’s children and also for changes in how RESULTS Australia undertakes advocacy. Read the full article by Policy & Advocacy Manager Mark Rice.

🕮 New report on Australia’s health shows our vulnerability to future pandemics: George Institute

Obesity is strongly linked to a greater risk of death and disability from COVID-19 & this new data highlights how vulnerable the nation is to a second wave or to future pandemics.
🕮 The time to start planning for the next pandemic is now: Policy Cures Research

R&D funding for infectious diseases needs to become less reactive, says Paul Barnsley, Senior Analyst at Policy Cures Research
🎧 Contain This: Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security's Podcast 

In the first episode of their new Talking Global series, Dr David Nabarro, Special Envoy on COVID-19 to the World Health Organization's Director-General, talks to our Head of Centre Robin Davies and panellists from around the region.
🕮 Chasing the cure: Policy Cures Research

Despite initial promises, experts say we need to slow down in our hunt for a guaranteed Covid treatment. 

Great Global Health Jobs and PhD Opportunities

Ahpra
Multiple vacancies
ChildFund PNG
Protection Program Manager
The Doherty Institute
Research Officer
The George Institute
Digital Engagement Officer 
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
Marketing Assistant
Melbourne Children's Global Health
Multiple vacancies
NRL 
Customer Relations and Business Manager
 
Save The Children
Multiple vacancies 
Triangle Global Health Consortium
Multiple vacancies
Victorian Infection & Immunity Network
Multiple vacancies
VCS Foundation
ICT Service Desk Manager
Washington Global Health Alliance
Multiple vacancies
Have something to share? We want to share your news, events, jobs, courses and accomplishments in our monthly ezine. Send all content through to deputydirector@glham.org.
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