Browsing articles in "Australia"
1 December 2012
Tim Siegenbeek van Heukelom

Sydney and Melbourne turn red for World AIDS Day 2012

The Sydney Opera House turns red for World AIDS Day 2012

The Melbourne Arts Centre Spire turns red for World AIDS Day 2012



27 November 2012
Guest Contributor

Governor-General Opens Access to Life Exhibition in Sydney

Global Fund Chair Simon Bland, Governor-General Ms Quentin Bryce, Chris Steele-Perkins, the Hon Jillian Skinner

After touring major cities in the US, Europe and Asia, the Access to Life exhibition was opened in Sydney last night by Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, and Patron of the Pacific Friends of the Global Fund.

Access to Life, a powerful photographic exhibition created by Magnum Photos in partnership with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The exhibition, which has moved millions of people around the world through its touching images of AIDS-affected communities, is being held 30 years after the first case of HIV was diagnosed in Australia.

The exhibition launch was celebrated by over 300 guests, including Mr Simon Bland, Chair of the Global Fund to AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Mr James Gilling, Australia’s Ambassador for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; The Hon Jillian Skinner MP, NSW Minister for Health & Medical Research; and Mr Peter Botten CBE, Managing Director of Oil Search Limited.

For the first time, a series of new photos from Papua New Guinea  was unveiled at the exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum. These photographs were taken by acclaimed British photographer Chris Steele-Perkins and will join the photographic case studies from Russia, Swaziland, India, Haiti, Vietnam, Mali, South Africa and Peru.

Access to Life was launched yesterday in Sydney in time for World AIDS Day 2012, which coincides with 30 years since the first case of HIV was diagnosed in Australia. The Australian response and approach to HIV and AIDS will be told in a new display, HIV & AIDS 30 years on: the Australian story, a compelling exhibit that beautifully accompanies Access to Life.

The opening of the exhibitions was attended by former Australian Health Minister Mr Neal Blewett and Professor Ron Penny, two instrumental individuals that were instrumental to Australia’s successful response to the HIV outbreak in the 1980s.

Both Access to Life and HIV & AIDS 30 years on: the Australian story open today to the general public. They will remain at the Powerhouse Museum till mid 2013.

15 November 2012
Guest Contributor

Australian Parliamentarians join GAVI visit to Myanmar

Last week, the GAVI Alliance coordinated an in-country visit to its programs in Myanmar. Accompanied by a delegation of Australian and New Zealand Parliamentarians, GAVI Chair, Dagfinn Høybråten, and Deputy CEO, Helen Evans, visited a number of GAVI supported clinics and community programs, and met with government officials.

The visit highlighted moreover the groundbreaking work made possible by the commendable contributions of  the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and AusAID in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Australia joined as a supporter of GAVI in 2006 by providing contributions to 2010, subsequently it has committed to a new $200 million pledge from 2011–2013. Since 2000, AusAID and GAVI have contributed to:

  • the immunisation of more than 325 million children against a variety of preventable diseases in the world’s poorest countries
  • the prevention of 5.5 million deaths through immunisation against preventable diseases
  • the development and roll out of new vaccines that protect against pneumonia and diarrhoea—the two leading killers of children under the age of five
  • an increase in vaccine coverage to 82 per cent in developing countries, with a particular focus on the poorest children
  • a significant reduction in global vaccine prices.

The partnership between GAVI and AusAID has also seen the introduction of the pentavalent vaccine—which protects children against five deadly diseases (diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and meningitis) in Myanmar, as well as in Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste.

4 November 2012
Tim Siegenbeek van Heukelom

New impetus to roll back malaria in Asia-Pacific

This morning during the final day of the Malaria 2012 conference hosted by AusAID in Sydney, Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr announced that Australia pledges $100 million over the next four years to fight malaria in the Asia-Pacific, which could save 70,000 lives by 2015. The announcement came after two days of high-level sessions on malaria in the region, in which delegates made a strong call for more funding to eradicate malaria. In particular since the Asia-Pacific is the second worst-hit part of the world, recording 30 million cases of malaria and 42,000 deaths in 2010.

The new Australian push to roll back malaria in the Asia-Pacific region includes $20 million that will go specifically to three Pacific nations most affected by malaria: the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.

This morning the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership launched their much anticipated report “Defeating malaria in Asia, the Pacific, Americas, Middle East and Europe” to brief regional leaders on the impact of malaria on development and health systems in countries outside of Africa.

There has been wide media coverage of the Malaria 2012 conference, RBM report launch, and Australian aid announcement:

The conference outcome is the Sydney Consensus on Malaria Control and Elimination in the Asia-Pacific.

1 November 2012
Guest Contributor

Sydney welcomes High-level International Malaria Summit

Yesterday Sydney welcomed the launch of Malaria 2012: Saving Lives in the Asia-Pacific, hosted by AusAID. Between 31 October to 2 November, this regional summit sets out to accelerate progress in the Asia-Pacific region towards the global target of a 75 per cent reduction in malaria cases and deaths by 2015. It also aims to tackle drug resistant malaria by protecting the gains made to date in malaria control and elimination in the Asia-Pacific region by invigorating and sustaining the level of regional and international action in the Asia-Pacific region.

Malaria 2012 brings together representatives of countries from across the Asia-Pacific, international stakeholders, technical and donor institutions, representatives of the private sector, civil society and researchers over three days to explore regional challenges and possible solutions.

The meeting highlights the successes already made in the region and explores existing and new responses to the challenge of malaria control and elimination, including the dangers of emerging malaria drug resistance. Key themes include regional leadership and collaboration, meeting gaps in financing, improving access to quality medicines and commodities, and expanding coverage of key interventions that focus on the most vulnerable and at risk people.

Malaria 2012 will also seek to develop a consensus on priority issues and areas for action. A draft of the Consensus on Malaria Control and Elimination in the Asia-Pacific is available for consultation in the lead up to the conference. It identifies the key themes and proposed actions that will be explored during Malaria 2012. It is based on a synthesis of current knowledge and the recommendations agreed in March 2012 by partners of the ‘Joint Assessment of the Response to Artemisinin Resistance in the Greater Mekong Sub–region’.

Conference host AusAID was very pleased to welcome a high level delegation from the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership. RBM holds the vital role as the only coordinating mechanism for the address of malaria worldwide. During the first plenary session, Dr Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, Executive Director of the RBM Partnership, highlighted the important role of partnership to achieve effective regional coordination and cross-border collaboration, and address emerging resistance to artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs). With 14% of global malaria cases and 7% of global deaths, the  Asia-Pacific  bears the largest burden of malaria outside of Africa.

The summit is also joined by Chair of the Global Fund, Mr Simon Bland and Director of External Relations, Dr Christoph Benn. The Global Fund stands as a significant actor in the address of malaria within the region, with the Global Fund providing approximately 50 per cent of international financing for malaria.

Tomorrow, Australian Foreign Minister, Senator Bob Carr, and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Malaria, Ray Chambers, will conclude the Summit by co-hosting a high level ministerial meeting to discuss the findings of the previous days.

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Pacific Friends operates as a program within the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales.

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Professor Janice Reid AC
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Bill Bowtell AO
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Pacific Friends of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is a high-level advocacy organisation which seeks to mobilise regional awareness of the serious threat posed by HIV & AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria to societies and economies in the Pacific. In pursuing its goals Pacific Friends has a specific interest in highlighting the need to protect the rights of women and children in the Pacific.

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