Date published: 
26 April 2018
Media type: 
Media release
General public

The Turnbull Government is providing $1.5 million in medical research funding to help better understand the flesh eating Buruli ulcer and reduce its spread in Australia.

This funding will be used by the University of Melbourne to study mosquitoes in areas around Victoria where Buruli ulcers have been reported.

There has recently been a spike in cases of the bacterial infection which causes weeping ulcers and can lead to serious injury.

This terrible disease has been found to occur in Far North Queensland as well as parts of coastal Victoria, including East Gippsland, Phillip Island, the Mornington Peninsula and the Bellarine Peninsula.

This is a horrible and painful medical condition and research is vital to get to the bottom of this emerging health challenge.

The two-year study will be led by Professor Tim Stinear from the University of Melbourne, who has found mosquitoes are a key factor in spreading the bacteria to humans.

This will be one of the first investigations of its kind in the world to study the transmission of the Buruli ulcer.

This project will provide much needed evidence which will inform public health policies to control this emerging disease.

It will also be supported by Mornington Peninsula Shire, Barwon Health and the Victorian Government’s Department of Health and Human Services.

The Federal Government has already provided $2.4 million in funding for research into this disease.

This project is one of 23 which will share in more than $20 million of funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), under the Partnership Project Grants.

All of these research projects are partnerships with organisations operating in a similar field, and are designed to answer a specific question to improve health and health care for Australians.

They bring together the best people in each field to produce high-quality evidence that can be practically applied and enable research to be quickly translated into benefits for the community through the partner organisations that co-fund the studies.

This funding continues the Turnbull Government’s strong commitment to supporting the best health and medical research.