Malaria the focus for Burnet on World Health Day

Burnet Institute

07 April, 2011

Professor Brendan Crabb interviewed by ABC TV for World Health Day

Our leading malaria researchers, Professor Brendan Crabb, Professor John Reeder and Dr James Beeson joined Head of the Centre for International Health, Professor Mike Toole as guest speakers at the highly-successful 5th Annual AMREP World Health Day Conference in Melbourne.

The focus this year was on Global Health Challenges: A focus on infectious diseases.

Professor John Reeder chaired the session on ‘Malaria control and challenges’, with Dr Beeson discussing the latest news on vaccine research and Professor Toole highlighting elimination experiences and controversies around malaria internationally.

Australian Network, the ABC’s international TV network aired in Asia and the Pacific, interviewed both Professor Crabb and Dr Beeson as part of a special World Health Day malaria feature.

“Despite the successes, malaria is still one fo the world’s most significant diseases,” Professor Crabb said, “one million mothers wake up each day knowing that malaria now has affected someone in their family.”

“The human toll is enormous with more than 5,000 people dying every day from malaria.

“Ultimately, the holy grail is to develop an inexpensive, effective vaccine, as resistance to existing drugs will always be an issue.”

Dr Beeson was inspired to move into malaria research after seeing first-hand the devastating effects of drug-resistant malaria on pregnant women on the Thai/Burma border in the late 1990s when a medical student.

“It’s a terrible disease for pregant women to have because it can cause very underweight babies or the loss of a pregnancy,” Dr Beeson said.

“The dream of eradicating malaria or a disease globally is very difficult - it’s only been achieved once and that was smallpox.

“That underscores the importance of pushing globally for the development of new drugs against the malaria parasite which has the ability to keep mutating.”

5th Annual AMREP World Health Day Conference


Speakers included:
- Professor Ajay Mahal, Finkel Chair in Global Health, Monash University
- Dr Ric Price, Infectious Diseases Physician, Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin and Centre of Tropical Medicine, Oxford University
- Ms Beth Slaytyer, AusAID
- Geoffrey Setswe, Professor and Head of the School of Health Sciences, Monash University
- Nicolas Graves, Professor of Health Economics, School of Public Health, Queensland University of Technology
- Professor Stephen Rogerson, University of Melbourne
- Dr Anton Peleg, The Alfred Hospital
- Ms Sharon Salmon, University of New South Wales
- Professor Trevor Duke, Centre for International Child Health
- Dr James Beeson, Burnet Institute
- Professor Mike Toole, Burnet Institute
- Professor John Reeder, Burnet Institute

This conference was organised by partners of the Alfred Medical Research & Education Precinct (AMREP) Global Health Consortium, which includes Monash University, Burnet Institute, Baker IDI and Diabetes Institute and The Alfred Hospital.

An initiative of the AMREP Global Health Consortium

Health Issue

Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Professor Brendan Crabb AC

Director and CEO; Co-Head Malaria Research Laboratory; Chair, Victorian Chapter of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI)




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