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Joint Media Release with Nicola Roxon MP, Minister for Health

16 November, 2009

$7 million to fight malaria

Today the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Health and Ageing met with Dr Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Australia supports the WHO as the United Nations organization providing leadership on global health matters, shaping health research and setting international health standards.

Australia works closely with the WHO to improve health service delivery, address the health needs of women and children, and to reduce the burden of communicable diseases and the impacts of natural disasters and conflicts.

The Ministers discussed with Dr Chan Australia’s enhanced relationship with the WHO, including a $64 million commitment over four years to improve health in developing countries.

The Government welcomed the WHO’s comprehensive response to the 2009 H1N1 (Swine Flu) pandemic.

Australia has supported this effort with technical assistance and vaccines.

Australia is donating up to 10 per cent of its 2009 H1N1 pandemic vaccine to the WHO for use in the region, particularly Papua New Guinea, Pacific Islands and East Timor.

We also discussed Australia’s current efforts to tackle malaria in our region.

As part of these efforts Australia will provide nearly $7 million for ongoing support for the Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network.

This Network brings together countries in our region who are working to eliminate malaria and provides a forum for experts to work together towards this important goal.

This assistance complements Australia’s $210 million commitment over seven years to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and our support for the Pacific Malaria Initiative, assisting the Governments of the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to prevent, control and eliminate malaria.

 

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