News

Burnet launches Disease Elimination Strategy

Angus Morgan

29 November, 2016

Health Minister The Hon Sussan Ley MP addresses Burnet's event at Parliament House

Burnet Institute has launched a bold, new strategy to eliminate the four major diseases – HIV, malaria, tuberculosis (TB) and viral hepatitis – that disproportionately affect vulnerable communities in Australia and our region.

Globally, more than four million people die each year from these four preventable diseases, and an estimated 650 million people are living with a chronic infectious disease.

Burnet’s Disease Elimination Program adopts a coordinated approach, making best use of our breadth of cross-disciplinary expertise to prevent new infections and stop infectious disease-related deaths.

Burnet Director and CEO, Professor Brendan Crabb AC told guests at a function at Parliament House in Canberra including Foreign Minister The Hon Julie Bishop MP that, for the first time, eliminating these diseases as public health threats is now possible.

“Elimination requires an integrated approach to disease prevention, harm reduction, vaccine development and use, testing to identify new and ongoing infections, and treatment strategies,” Professor Crabb said.

“Burnet’s expertise across all of these disciplines means we can take a diverse approach to tackling infectious disease through basic, discovery, translational and operational research.

IMAGE: Burnet Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb AC

“Our research discoveries can be tested in the field, and field programs applied to inform discovery research through our strong connections with vulnerable target populations in Australia, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region.”

A strengthening of partnerships and collaborations with communities, governments, organisations and supporters, and industry engagement will complement these interventions.

Ms Bishop paid tribute to Burnet’s ‘leadership’ in research over three decades.

“The calibre of its research is outstanding and it will continue to play an important role in achieving better health for vulnerable communities especially in our region,” Ms Bishop said.

“I welcome the disease elimination strategy being launched this evening.”

The Disease Elimination Program supports Burnet’s vision of equity through better health, and the World Health Organization’s 2030 Global Elimination Targets, which include:

  • Ending the HIV epidemic as a public health threat
  • The elimination of malaria in 35+ countries
  • A 90 percent reduction in deaths caused by TB, and
  • A 90 percent reduction in new cases of viral hepatitis.

Disease elimination is the absence of transmission of an infection from an area within a country, region or continent so that it becomes free of infection, or transmission is reduced to such low levels that the disease is no longer a public health problem.

IMAGE: Federal Opposition Leader, The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Burnet’s Disease Elimination Program was launched at a celebration of Burnet’s 30th anniversary, attended by Federal Health Minister The Hon Sussan Ley MP, and Federal Opposition Leader, The Hon Bill Shorten MP.

“Burnet Institute has made remarkable progress towards achieving better health through its practical approach to global health issues,” Mr Shorten said.

“The results of its work will help create equitable, fairer and more prosperous communities."

IMAGE: Foreign Minister The Hon Julie Bishop MP at Burnet’s function in Canberra

Other speakers at the event included Burnet Patron and Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls, Natasha Stott Despoja AM, and Hepatitis Victoria CEO, Melanie Eagle.

Contact Details

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

Burnet Institute

communications@burnet.edu.au

Telephone

+61392822111

Email

communications@burnet.edu.au

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