Funding supports chronic disease partnerships

Friday, 14 April, 2023

Funding supports chronic disease partnerships

Four projects have received a combined $5.7 million in research grants as Australia aims to foster research partnerships with institutions in 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 (NHMRC) through the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases, will enable knowledge-sharing and capacity-building for better health and wellbeing outcomes.

Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ged Kearney said, “Supporting collaboration between countries and institutions is so important for improving research 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.

National Health and Medical Research Council CEO Professor Anne Kelso AO said, “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.”

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