Image: The AAI TB Prevention and Eradication course participants at Burnet Institute
Burnet Institute is collaborating with the Menzies School of Health Research (Menzies) to deliver training in the prevention and eradication of tuberculosis (TB) to 25 visiting Indonesian health professionals.
The training in Darwin and Melbourne is supported by the Australia Awards in Indonesia (AAI) which give Indonesian professionals and future leaders the opportunity to access high quality professional development opportunities in Australia with high quality education providers and funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
“While TB remains the leading single cause of infectious disease death globally, it’s an exciting time with new medicines, new diagnostics and new global guidelines,” Dr Philipp du Cros, Burnet Infectious Diseases Specialist, said.
“And the chance to exchange between Australian and Indonesian TB healthcare workers is a great opportunity to discuss and learn how TB programs can be improved, and work towards TB elimination in the region.”
Northern Territory Health Minister Natasha Fyles told the Indonesian delegation at a reception in Parliament House, Darwin, that Australia is leading the way internationally in controlling TB.
“The Department of Health’s Centre for Disease control has been providing high-quality TB control and prevention activities for decades. They have achieved important successes in local TB control, with a fall in case numbers in the local Indigenous population during the last decade,” Minister Fyles said.
Associate Professor Anna Ralph, Head of Menzies’ Global Health Division and Course Co-Leader, says Menzies is proud to be contributing to the global effort to control TB.
“Menzies with the Burnet Institute leads a large DFAT-funded initiative, the Tropical Disease Research Regional Collaboration, working in Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea to control TB and malaria.
“Training courses like this for our Indonesian neighbours illustrates that Australia has a key role and capacity to respond to the regional and global TB epidemic.
“Our local TB situation is heavily influenced by the TB epidemic in neighbouring countries and there is a major burden of TB in our region,” said Assoc Prof Ralph.
The World Health Organization has announced that the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will hold the first-ever high-level meeting on the fight against TB this year, following reports that TB was one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide in 2015, being responsible for more deaths than HIV or malaria.
World TB Day is on March 24, 2018.