The Morrison Government will reportedly 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 are expected to 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.
“Cervical cancer is highly preventable but, according to the World Health Organisation, poor access to prevention, screening and treatment contributes to 90% of cervical cancer related deaths,” says Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt.
“These projects will support improved health outcomes here and across our region, helping to both save lives and protect lives.”
Australia’s role in reducing the burden of chronic disease
The GACD is the first international collaboration of major research funding agencies that specifically addresses chronic non-communicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries and in vulnerable communities in high-income countries.
Australia, through the NHMRC, is a founding member of the GACD and according to NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso, who is a member of the GACD Strategy Board and past chair, participation in the GACD provides 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,” says Professor Kelso.
“This is more important than ever today as chronic diseases can increase the risk of severe illness from Covid-19.”