Browsing articles in "Pacific Friends"
31 January 2017
Shawn Clackett

Helen Evans Appointment as an Officer in the Order of Australia

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Ms Helen Evans has been appointed as an Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia on Australia Day 2017 for distinguished service to global health as an advocate for the improved treatment of infectious diseases in underprivileged populations, particularly for women and children.

Service includes: Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI), 2009-2014 and Interim Chief Executive Officer, 2011. Deputy Executive Director, The Global Fight to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, 2005-2009. First Assistant Secretary, Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, Commonwealth Department of Health, 1997-2005. Assistant Secretary, Budget Information and Evaluation Branch, Portfolio Strategies Group, Commonwealth Department of Health and Family Services. 1996-1997. Assistant Secretary, AIDS/Communicable Diseases Branch, Commonwealth Department of Human Services and Health, 1993-1996. Professional memberships include: Board Member, Burnett Institute, since 2015. Board Member, Fred Hollows Foundation, since 2015. Advisory Council Member, Pacific Friends of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, since 2014. Honorary Associate Professor, The Nossal Institute for Public Health

Pacific Friends’ Executive Director, Bill Bowtell AO, said “Helen has made an outstanding contribution to international health and development both in Australia and then in her successive roles at Gavi Alliance and with the Global Fund. I especially recall and congratulate Helen on her great contribution in the early days of HIV/AIDS in Australia, when her unwavering commitment to sane and sensible health policy-making were first honed and displayed.”

The Development Policy Centre at the Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, wrote a piece on Helen’s story, written by Robin Davies. Read it here.

Congratulations Helen!

20 April 2016
Shawn Clackett

What’s the Buzz? Dame Quentin Bryce Launches International Malaria Congress in Brisbane

ICTMM

BRISBANE – On Friday 15 April, The Honorable Dame Quentin Bryce AD, CVO, Australia’s 25th Governor-General, officially launched the International Congress for Tropical Medicine and Malaria 2016.

The launch took place at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art. Hosted by Professor Cheryl Jones, President of the Australian Society for Infectious Diseases (ASID) and Professor David Emery, President of the Australian Society for Parasitology along with Associate Professor Helen Evans, from the Advisory Council of Pacific Friends of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Ms Michelle Aldridge recounted her personal experience with malaria, which she contracted while volunteering in the Solomon Islands in 2012.

Expert panel moderated by Dr Norman Swan, Host, ABC RN Health Report consisted of Professor Maxine Whittaker (James Cook University), Professor James McCarthy (QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute), Associate Professor (Hon) Helen Evans (Pacific Friends of the Global Fund), Rev Tim Costello (World Vision Australia), Dr Ben Rolfe (Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance, APLMA) and Professor Sharon Lewin (the Doherty Institute) discussed the importance and significance of the congress, the breakthroughs in malaria, health security within Australia and the need to continue funding the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The number of deaths caused by malaria declined 48 percent between 2000 and 2014. The number of lives saved by malaria treatment and prevention has grown steadily each year. Children under the age of five are the most vulnerable to malaria, because their immune systems are still developing effective resistance to the disease. Pregnant women are also vulnerable, because their immune systems are weakened during pregnancy. Protecting young children and pregnant women is paramount to any disease strategy.

The innovation of a long-lasting insecticidal mosquito net, at a relatively low cost, has greatly expanded protection for children and families. With more than 548 million mosquito nets distributed, people at risk for malaria who gained access to mosquito nets grew from 7 percent in 2005 to 36 percent in 2010 and 56 percent in 2014 in countries where the Global Fund invests.

 

23 November 2015
Shawn Clackett

Ridding Asia Pacific of malaria by 2030 achievable with $6 million Australian government funding boost

Australian Members of Parliament

Ms Sharon Claydon MP, Hon Sharman Stone MP, Senator Jenny McAllister and Dr Andrew Southcott MP are four of seven Australian Members of Parliament to visit Vietnam with the Global Fund, to witness firsthand the work done being done to reduce malaria rates in the Asia-Pacific Region

Mr. Bill Bowtell, Executive Director of Pacific Friends of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has warmly endorsed the Turnbull government’s plan to rid the Asia Pacific of malaria by 2030.

At the East Asia Summit held in Kuala Lumpur over the past weekend, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that the Australian government will provide an additional $6 million towards the East Asian regional plan to eradicate malaria from the Asia Pacific.

“The Prime Minister’s commitment is both practical and visionary. The eradication of malaria will not only save millions of people from preventable suffering and early death, but also provides a stimulus to economic growth and promotes health security for our friends and neighbours”, said Mr. Bowtell. “We hope that Prime Minister Turnbull will continue to serve as Co-Chair of the Asia Pacific Leaders’ Malaria Alliance (APLMA) in order to oversee the implementation of this exceptional policy commitment”.

Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease. It is preventable and treatable, however it still claims over 50,000 lives each year in the Asia Pacific region.

“Between 2000 and 2013, thanks to increased funding and better strategies, the global malaria mortality rate has fallen by almost 50%, but we are seeing the emergence of new forms of drug-resistant malaria, especially in the Mekong region”.

This presents new challenges, but with increased funding of new treatments and preventive measures, eradication of malaria in the Mekong region is now an achievable goal.

Malaria – at a glance

  • Malaria is caused by a parasite called Plasmodium, which is transmitted via the bites of infected mosquitoes.
  • If not treated, malaria can quickly become life-threatening by disrupting the blood supply to vital organs.
  • Malaria is preventable and treatable.
  • Malaria claims over 50,000 lives each year in the Asia Pacific region and 600,000 globally.
  • New drug-resistant forms of malaria are emerging, especially in the Mekong region.
  • Preventive measures like the use of insecticide and mosquito nets have helped reduce mortality from malaria.
  • Improved funding and strategies reduced the global malaria mortality rate by almost 48% between 2000 and 2013.
  • Children and pregnant women are particularly vulnerable. In 2013 over three-quarters of all malaria deaths were in children under the age of five.

Half of the world’s population remains vulnerable to malaria. The Global Fund is a 21st-century partnership organization designed to accelerate the end of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics. Founded in 2002, the Global Fund is a partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and people affected by the diseases. The Global Fund raises and invests nearly US$4 billion a year to support programs run by local experts in countries and communities most in need.

Prevention

Prevention involves the distribution of insecticide-treated nets, the use of indoor residual spraying of households and, if appropriate, interventions targeting the larval stages of the mosquito. For example, in Sri Lanka, larvivorous (larvae-eating) fish were introduced to bodies of water where mosquitoes normally breed. Through the middle of 2015, programs supported by the Global Fund had distributed 548 million nets to protect families. Sleeping under an insecticide-treated net halves malaria cases among children.

Treatment

As of mid 2015, programs supported by the Global Fund had provided 515 million treatments for malaria. In the last decade, we have seen the introduction of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), a new generation of antimalarial treatment that are highly effective. Unfortunately, however, we are already seeing resistance to the key ingredient, artemisinin, (as well as the partner drugs) develop in certain parts of the world. This is one of the great challenges facing us in the fight against malaria.

17 January 2014
Shawn Clackett

Remembering Andrew Paul Hunter

In loving memory of our friend and human rights warrior Andrew Paul Hunter
~ 22.1.1968 – 26.12. 2013 ~

Andrew Paul Hunter

We are still so deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and colleague Andrew Hunter who died suddenly in Bangkok on Boxing Day. Andrew had devoted his entire adult life to social justice for maligned and marginalised communities particularly that of sex workers, people living with HIV and people who use drugs. His passing has not just left a hole in our hearts but has also left a giant hole in the sex worker rights movement. We will miss his leadership and seemingly unstoppable energy in advancing the rights of sex workers and other marginalised communities that he represented so admirably and selflessly. Known by some as the gentle mentor, Andrew was the current President of the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP), founding co-ordinator of the Scarlet Alliance and a founding member of the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW).

In honour of our friend Andrew and for those who cannot be in Bangkok at his formal memorial service on Saturday 18th January, we will be holding a small intimate service in Melbourne on the day to mourn his passing but above all, to celebrate his life, his loves and his passion for righting wrongs and consider a permanent memorial to honour Andrew’s contribution to sex worker rights.

If you can’t be at any of the the memorial services being held for Andrew, light a red candle in his honour, unfurl your red umbrella, raise your glasses and give thanks for the friendships and alliances he so lovingly encouraged. It is these memories and our friendships and alliances that will sustain us in our loss and bolster us as we continue to pursue Andrew’s dream where only rights will stop the wrongs.

For information on the Melbourne memorial service location and time please send an email to 

5 December 2013
Shawn Clackett

Friends Organizations Applaud the Successful Fourth Voluntary Replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Despite Challenging Economic Climate, Donor Pledges Increased by 30%

Washington, D.C., December 3, 2013 — Today, international donors committed US$ 12 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria at its Fourth Voluntary Replenishment meeting. This amount, which will provide funding for 2014 through 2016, represents a 30% increase over hard commitments made at the previous replenishment conference in 2010. As global advocates for the organization, Friends of the Fund Africa, Europe and Japan; Pacific Friends of the Global Fund; and Friends of the Global Fight in the United States want to applaud this significant milestone.

“This is an enormous success by any measure,” said Laurent Vigier, President of Friends of the Global Fund Europe. “But particularly in a time of constrained economies, the collaboration and generosity demonstrated by donor countries is a recognition of the tremendous work of the Global Fund and its ability to help turn the tide against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.”

Every three years, countries from around the world gather to make financial pledges to continue the fight against the three diseases. This year’s meeting not only brought donor governments to the table, but also demonstrated the shared support and accountability of the broader international community.

“This mobilization of resources is truly a collective effort,” said Deb Derrick, President of U.S.-based Friends of the Global Fight. “In addition to the generosity of traditional donor governments, significant efforts by civil society organizations, communities, emerging economies, the private sector and implementing countries themselves all contributed to these results.”

“The Global Fund was designed to pursue its mission through a partnership model, and its gradual success at turning the tide for the three diseases is supported by a galvanized effort of all the above mentioned stakeholders. The role of public health advocates in achieving the objectives of the Global Fund cannot be over emphasized and we, the Friends organizations around the world, are proud to play a part in today’s collective success” continued Dr Akudo Anyanwu Ikemba CEO and Founder of Friends Africa.

The need for continued focus on global health is critical. Recent scientific developments, combined with improved epidemiology and a decade of implementation experience, present a unique opportunity to contain and ultimately defeat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Investments in the three diseases also serve as a platform for addressing the broader health of individuals.

“The Global Fund delivers the majority of international funding for tuberculosis and provides more than 50 percent of international funding for malaria and more than 20 percent for global AIDS relief,” said Wendy McCarthy, Chair of Pacific Friend of the Global Fund. “It is the best instrument we have to defeat these three deadly epidemics. Today’s announcement helps ensure that the work of the organization—helping to save more than 100,000 lives a month—will continue in the years to come.”

But today’s efforts are not the end rather they mark a beginning to a rolling, three-year resource mobilization effort.

“Over the next three years, the Friends organizations and the broader advocacy community will work together with the Global Fund to ensure the necessary resources are in place and used effectively,” said Ken Shibusawa, Director of Friends of the Global Fund Japan. “Together, we can work toward defeating these three diseases.”

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

Pacific Friends

Professor Janice Reid AC
Chair
Bill Bowtell AO
Executive Director

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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