Date published: 
16 June 2021
Media type: 
Media release
General public

The Morrison Government will invest $5.9 million on cancer prevention among women in vulnerable communities across the world through the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD). 

Funded through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), three of the four projects will support research to implement cervical cancer screening in India, Papua New Guinea and Eswatini. 

Funding is also committed to allow SISTAQUIT (Supporting Indigenous Smokers to Assist Quitting) to expand its free, online training in quit smoking methods to all Australian health services catering to Indigenous women during pregnancy. 

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said the projects would help women across the globe and here at home. 

“Cervical cancer is highly preventable but, according to the World Health Organisation, poor access to prevention, screening and treatment contributes to 90 per cent of cervical cancer related deaths,” Minister Hunt said. 

“These projects will support improved health outcomes here and across our region, helping to both save lives and protect lives.” 

Australia, through the NHMRC, is a founding member of the GACD, the first international collaboration of major research funding agencies that specifically addresses chronic non-communicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and in vulnerable communities in high-income countries (HICs). 

NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso, who is a member of the GACD Strategy Board and past chair, said NHMRC’s participation in the GACD provided an important opportunity for Australian researchers to help reduce the burden of chronic diseases in vulnerable communities around the world. 

“By working with other international funding agencies through the GACD, we can amplify our impact on non-communicable diseases in the communities that are most affected and have least access to the advances of modern medicine,” Professor Kelso said. 

“This is more important than ever today as chronic diseases can increase the risk of severe illness from COVID-19.” 

Between 2015 and 2019, NHMRC awarded a total of $19.5 million in funding through four GACD rounds for research on prevention or management of type 2 diabetes, mental disorders, chronic lung disorders and hypertension.

Application title Administering institution Budget ($)

Developing a scalable, woman-centred model for cervical cancer screening in vulnerable women in India 

VCS Foundation Limited 


HPV-based testing and treatment for the elimination of cervical cancer in Papua New Guinea (HPVTATE) 

University of New South Wales 


Developing and testing a community-informed intervention to increase VIA cervical cancer screening in Eswatini 

University of Newcastle 


SISTAQUIT scale-up in Indigenous populations in Australia 

University of Newcastle 


Total 5,927,063.77
Former ministers: