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In this edition

The knock-on effect: how the pandemic is uniquely impacting the health of women and girls

Thursday 10th September 2020 

4 - 5PM AEST

Join us at our next COVID19 National Sector Briefing as we discuss how women and girls across the globe are being uniquely and disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
The Q&A event will feature

Professor Glen Mola
Head of Reproductive Health, Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Papua New Guinea
Professor Julie Bines
Founding member of Women in Global Health Australasia;
Victor & Loti Smorgon Professor of Paediatrics, Dept of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne

Special guest TBA

Register to attend the event here.   
For more information on being involved in a global health briefing with the Alliance, please contact Executive Director, Misha Coleman on

Can Melbourne lead the world? A model for a localised testing and tracing model in Melbourne: Burnet Institute

Testing and contact tracing are here to stay – regardless of whether we can access a vaccine. The Burnet Institute, in collaboration with Melbourne based community health centres and local councils have designed a model that is sustainable, affordable, decentralised and which could reduce community transmission by 80%. Read the paper here. 

On 27th August, the Global Health Alliance hosted a National COVID19 Sector Briefing, attended by over 160 people that discussed the pros and cons of the decentralised model. If you missed the event, you can access the recording here

Australia commits $80 million to guarantee access to COVID-19 vaccines for all: Gavi

The Australian Government announced in August that it will contribute $80m to a global initiative that will guarantee fair access to safe and effective COVID vaccines for developing countries to ensure that the world’s poorest don’t miss out. The commitment to the COVAX Advanced Market Commitment (AMC), led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) ensures that doses will be distributed equitably as they become available between the higher-income, self-financing countries that will pay for their doses, and developing countries that would otherwise be unable to afford to pay for the vaccine. Read more about the commitment here.

‘Near-care’ test that can detect COVID-19 in 20 minutes validated: The Doherty Institute

A test that can detect the COVID-19 virus from nasal swabs in just 20 minutes has been validated by Doherty Institute scientists in collaboration with Australian biotech company GeneWorks.

Read more about this exciting innovation here. 

Life-saving infant oxygen device awarded Unitaid funding

Pneumonia kills one million children under five every year. But solutions are out there. An oxygen device with potential to save infant lives in low-income countries is the first recipient of Unitaid Explore funding.

Read more on this announcement here.

The Leprosy Mission helping put the PEP in communities affected by leprosy in Indonesia 

The Leprosy Mission Australia has just released details of their latest project supporting Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Community (PEPCOM) in Indonesia.

This project marks The Leprosy Mission Australia’s first time directly supporting a promising tool in the mission to eradicate leprosy: Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP). PEP involves administering the contacts of people who are newly diagnosed with leprosy a dose of rifampicin, an antibiotic. Studies show that this may reduce the likelihood of contacts developing leprosy by up to 60%, making this the first viable prevention method for leprosy.  The district of Indramayu is one of the most endemic areas in West Java for leprosy, making it an important site for the rollout of PEP.

This approach is touted as the ‘revitalisation’ of leprosy control programs. Health workers have spent years trying to contain leprosy but keep coming up against obstacles such as lack of funding, community superstition about leprosy and its causes, and stigma, particularly for women sufferers. Having a new tool like PEP encourages people that leprosy can be defeated and may inspire people to change their attitudes and governments to allocate more funding and set new goals to that end. For further information, head here.

Photo supplied by: NLR Indonesia

Malaysia takes up the fight to eliminate cervical cancer: VCS Foundation

Cervical cancer, which is caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV), is the third most common cancer among women in Malaysia. Program ROSE is poised to change that and save women’s lives.

The innovative cervical screening program, delivered by ROSE Foundation - a joint venture between VCS Foundation and University of Malaya - empowers women to use a simple swab kit to collect their own HPV sample and receive their results by mobile phone. Results are recorded on an e-health platform so women with abnormal results can be referred to a government hospital for follow up. 8,000 women have been screened since January 2019 and a centralised ROSE Laboratory was launched in February 2020. ROSE Foundation and partners plan to expand Program ROSE as part of its efforts to achieve the WHO global targets for the elimination of cervical cancer.

For more information visit

Image: ROSE Foundation

Communities First: A new paper from AFAO

The Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) have released a new paper, Communities First: Toward a Sustainable HIV Response in Asia and the Pacific. The paper contributes to the dialogue among communities, governments, development partners and international organisations in Asia and the Pacific on strategies and models for ensuring the sustainable participation of HIV key population communities and community organisations

Have a read here. 

¿Cómo le va? Bagaimana Kabarmu? 
The Nossal Institute asks 'how are you going?' in 19 languages 

COVID19 has left no corner of the world untouched. How ordinary people are experiencing the pandemic varies widely as countries take very different measures to control the virus.  

How Are You Going? is a study by the Nossal Institute of Global Health at the University of Melbourne of the economic, health and well-being consequences of COVID-19. We are inviting people all over the world to complete the online survey to understand how the different global experiences.

We need your help to gain a truly global perspective. Will you complete the survey and share it with your networks? The survey is in 22 languages, so there is an opportunity for all to be part of the international conversation. Take a look at our findings so far...

New WHA resolution on eye health adopted: Vision 2020

The World Health Assembly has adopted a resolution for ‘Integrated people-centred eye care, including preventable blindness and impaired vision’.
Led by Australia and Indonesia and co-sponsored by 47 countries, the resolution sets the global agenda for eye health for the decade to 2030, committing to a plan to make eye care an integral part of Universal Health Coverage. Read the article here.

Image: Vision2020

Australia leads on elimination of global cervical cancer: VCS Foundation and Pacific Friends

The World Health Organization also announced the adoption of the new Global Strategy on the Elimination of Cervical Cancer at the most recent World Health Assembly. The resolution, endorsed by the Australian Government, is an important step towards cervical cancer elimination across the globe. The adoption also sends a strong signal of worldwide interest in progressing on these important public health issues, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more about this exciting announcement here.

Introduction to the WHO Collaborating Centre for Tuberculosis Bacteriology

Dr Chris Coulter, Director of WHO Collaborating Centre for Tuberculosis Bacteriology
The Queensland Mycobacterium Reference Laboratory (QMRL) is the State diagnostic and reference laboratory for tuberculosis (TB), non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) and Nocardia. QMRL is the only diagnostic laboratory for mycobacteria in the Queensland public sector. It also receives isolates from private pathology providers for speciation and drug susceptibility testing. The laboratory has PC3 level biosafety and is accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia (NATA). QMRL participates in comprehensive external quality assurance and pursues operational and clinical research internally and with external collaborators domestically and internationally. Originally established in the 1950’s, QMRL became a Supranational Reference Laboratory (SRL) in 1994. The lab is Australia’s only designated World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Tuberculosis Bacteriology.
QMRL has partnerships with the National TB Programmes of Papua New Guinea, Kenya, Vanuatu, Fiji and Nauru. QMRL helped plan and provided reference culture/drug susceptibility testing (DST) services for the first Subnational Drug Resistance Surveillance (DRS) PNG and has provided reference services for National DRS, Kenya and Sri Lanka. QMRL is committed to assisting partner countries build diagnostic capacity including adoption of new technologies, improved quality assurance, education, training and reference services for antimicrobial resistance detection.
QMRL is located within the Central Laboratory, Pathology Queensland (Queensland Health Department) in Brisbane Australia and  is supervised by Dr  Chris Coulter MBBS, FRACP, FRCPA, (Director) and  Dr. Sushil Pandey PhD, MBA (Chief Scientist).

Dr. Tori Oliver joins the Nossal Institute

The Nossal Institute welcomes Dr Tori Oliver to the Maternal Sexual and Reproductive Health Unit. Dr Oliver played a central role in developing community level insights into the acceptability and feasibility of inhaled oxytocin in high need settings, and in developing a strategy for product implementation. She will be working on the UNICEF Continuous Professional Development Strategy for Kiribati, and on the UNFPA Transformative Agenda. Tori will be involved in projects focused on addressing inequities in health outcomes across high- and low-income settings.

Guardians of a continent: Global Fund 

Every time Evaline Owuor says goodbye to her children and goes to work, she takes a calculated risk. As a community health worker in Kenya’s Homa Bay County, she has helped her community dramatically reduce the number of people who die from malaria. And when COVID-19 arrived, she enlisted to fight the new enemy. Read more.
Image: Global Fund

A novel solution for maintaining access to cervical screening during the COVID-19 pandemic: VCS Foundation

Australia’s largest public specialist cervical screening laboratory, operated by VCS Foundation, has launched a new initiative to ensure underscreened women are encouraged and supported to participate in cervical screening during the COVID-19 pandemic.

VCS Pathology is now offering to send home self-sampling kits to eligible women in order to assist clinicians in screening asymptomatic women that are identified as unscreened or underscreened during a telehealth consultation. This empowers women to collect a HPV sample in the privacy of their own home without needing to visit a clinic, and with the support of their health care practitioner.

For more information, click here.

Gathering lessons from COVID-19 health workers: The Nossal Institute

Voice memos from health workers are being confidentially collected by Nossal Institute researchers to capture their experience of the pandemic, boost the future preparedness of health systems and support workers. Read the Article in Pursuit.

If you are a health worker, share your story by going to the COVID-19 Health Worker Voices WhatsApp link on your smartphone and simply text “hello” to start.

COVID-19 kids research evidence update: Melbourne Children's Global Health

Curious about what the Melbourne Children's clinicians, scientists, epidemiologists, and medical students have been reading this week? To complement the fantastic clinical and research responses being developed on the Melbourne Children’s campus, the University of Melbourne Department of Paediatrics releases a weekly synopses of the latest COVID-19 research that is most relevant to children. Read the latest report here. For previous reports, please click here

Dr Stephanie Williams launches new series on Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security's podcast

Australia’s Ambassador for Regional Health Security Stephanie Williams launched the Indo-Pacific Health Leaders Series on the Contain This podcast last week. Hear her talk to Dr Takeshi Kasai, Regional Director of the World Health Organization’s Western Pacific Office and Dr Brendan Murphy, Australia’s former Chief Medical Officer and now Secretary of the Health Department. Listen through your favourite podcast service and subscribe at  

What's on in global health

10 September: GLHA.M National Briefing - The knock on effect: how the pandemic is uniquely impacting women and girls health

10 September: Doherty Institute Virtual Student Open Day
19 - 30 October: The Australian Public Health Conference 2020 has gone virtual! 

Upcoming (online) events & courses

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:
The ABCs of ARVs: HIV Treatment for Healthcare Workers

7th September - 4thOctober

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:

Nossal Institute for Global Health 

COVID-19: Global Health Perspectives
The Nossal Institute is excited to announce the release of its new course in partnership with FutureLearn. 

“Through a critical synthesis of the evidence, and global health analysis of real world case studies, ‘COVID-19: Global Health Perspectives’ aims to give learners an academic and applied understanding of how COVID-19 and responses to the pandemic have impacted on different countries and populations across varying levels of economic development, and the key lessons learnt that can be applied to pandemic response and preparedness moving forward. The course is primarily designed for health planners, policy makers, program managers and those with an interest or applied careers in global health, who seek to understand how to best manage the impacts of COVID-19 and prepare for future pandemics. It will also be of keen interest to students and educators in the fields of global health, health systems strengthening and disaster preparedness and response.”

Enrolment for this FREE course is open and you can progress through this 4-week course at your own paceJoin now!

The Asian Development Bank, ANU, National University of Singapore and University of Hong Kong

Is the Asia and Pacific region emerging out of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Monday, 7 September 2020
2.00-4.00 pm Manila Time (GMT+8) / 4.00-6.00 pm (AEST)

Register here 
The COVID-19 pandemic has dominated the world’s attention and plunged many dimensions of our societies into great uncertainty. As countries in the Asia Pacific region respond to the outbreaks within their countries, emerging health issues arising from COVID-19 threaten to increase the burden on the health systems and economies. Simultaneously, countries continue to face challenges brought about by ageing populations, rapid urbanisation, climate change, and endemic infectious diseases. We need to shift from a reactive to pre-emptive mode to systematise the lessons learnt during the pandemic and invest at the system level to create resilient and functional health systems to tackle current and future health challenges. Join us in this webinar to discuss the emerging health issues and lessons learnt from COVID-19, and investment for health system strengthening.

Topics covered:
  • What are the lessons learnt from COVID-19 implementations in Asia and the Pacific?
  • How is the region addressing health issues emerging from COVID-19?
  • Does universal health coverage provide a strong foundation for countries to minimize the impact of COVID-19?
  • Moving forward: what are the options for Developing Member Countries?
The Doherty Institute

Introductory course in applied microbial genomics for public health

This course, designed for public health microbiologists and epidemiologists, will introduce concepts and provide practical experience in the analysis and interpretation of microbial genome data for public health action, with a focus on antimicrobial resistance and the application of genomics to the COVID-19 response.

For more information, head here.


Key Granting Bodies 


An Urgent Plea from a South African Health Worker Fighting COVID-19 and TB: The Global Fund

In Cape Town, South Africa, Nombasa Krune-Dumile, a drug-resistant TB counselor who has dedicated her life to supporting TB patients, says COVID-19 has devastated health systems and upended normal operations of her work.
Severe viral infection overwhelms immune cells: Doherty Institute

Melbourne researchers have identified mechanisms leading to the functional deterioration of the immune system in response to severe viral infections, such as HIV or COVID-19.
How Victoria can leave lockdown, safely, and avoid a return: The Burnet Institute

After so much sacrifice, Victorians don't want to find themselves in lockdown again. Here's what they'll need to do.
Seth Berkley: An effective vaccine against Covid-19 would pay for itself in five or six days: Gavi

We sit down with Gavi's CEO, Seth Berkley, to discuss the challenges of what could be the most massive immunization campaign ever conducted.
How low do we have to go?: Doherty Institute

University of Melbourne Professor Jodie McVernon, Director of Epidemiology at the Doherty Institute, takes us through the principles that decision makers will consider when thinking about easing restrictions.
US backs out from global effort to develop, distribute COVID-19 vaccine: RN Breakfast

Not a must-read, but a must-listen! Global health experts have condemned the Trump Administration's decision not to work with an international cooperative effort to develop and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine.
Image (top-down): Global Fund; Shutterstock; The Age; Gavi; Shutterstock; ABC

Great Global Health Jobs and PhD Opportunities

Multiple vacancies
The George Institute
Multiple vacancies
Georgia Global Health Alliance
Multiple vacancies 
The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
Multiple vacancies
Global Health Council
Multiple vacancies 
Marie Stopes International Australia
Multiple vacancies
Melbourne Children's Global Health
Multiple vacancies
Nossal Institute for Global Health 
International Risk Communications Specialist
Save The Children
Multiple vacancies 
Triangle Global Health Consortium
Multiple vacancies
Victorian Infection & Immunity Network
Multiple vacancies
Washington Global Health Alliance
Multiple vacancies
VCS Foundation
Director Education & Liaison Services
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