$5.7 million in research grants has been awarded to four projects aiming to foster research partnerships between institutions in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region and improve health outcomes for chronic conditions.
Non-communicable diseases such as cancer, chronic respiratory disease, heart disease and diabetes, are the leading cause of death worldwide and present a huge threat to health and development, particularly in low and middle-income countries.
The collaborative projects, funded through the National Health and Medical Research Council through the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases, will enable knowledge-sharing and capacity building for better health and wellbeing outcomes.
The George Institute for Global Health, led by non-communicable diseases expert Dr Bindu Patel, will evaluate the impact and sustainability of the Health Promoting Schools program in Fiji, which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of students.
Data gathered from this research will inform individual schools and government of areas for improvement and facilitate wider implementation of the program.
In the three other projects funded:
- Professor Brian Oldenburg from Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute will evaluate a lifestyle change program with young people from Meghalaya in north-eastern India, where many Indigenous people from the Khasi tribe live, to reduce the development of heart disease and diabetes.
- Professor David Peiris from The George Institute for Global Health will investigate scalable strategies to enhance resilience and reduce non-communicable disease risk factors for young people living in resource-limited settings in India and elsewhere.
- Associate Professor Abdullah Mamun from The University of Queensland will improve primary health care in antenatal and postnatal settings and support risk prevention of non-communicable diseases early in life for people in Nepal. This project will be jointly supported by National Health and Medical Research Council and the Research Council of Norway.
Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ged Kearney
“Everyone deserves the best care for really challenging conditions, from diabetes to depression, all through their life.”
“Research like this will benefit communities both within Australia and beyond our borders – helping people with limited resources to reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases.”
“Supporting collaboration between countries and institutions is so important for improving research outcomes.”
Quotes attributable to National Health and Medical Research Council CEO Professor Anne Kelso AO
“Australian researchers are making critical contributions to international projects, sharing their knowledge and building capacity in our neighbouring regions.”
“By sharing expertise between international researchers, these grants build lasting connections between individual researchers, institutions and their nations that strengthen our responses to current and future health challenges.”