Bill Gates’ End Malaria Council, made up of senior government and business leaders, has a new member. Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, has joined the council as part of Australia’s efforts to eliminate malaria in the Indo-Pacific region. The Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA) has hailed Australia’s commitment to fight malaria, and said:
‘Bishop’s strategy is smart: By jointly deploying diplomacy and financing, Australia is punching above its weight. We are seeing every dollar from Australia mobilising significantly more; from the likes of the UK, the USA and, critically, the Asia Pacific countries themselves.’
With the launch of Australia’s $300 million Health Security Initiative for the Indo-Pacific region in October 2017 and Australia’s hosting of the inaugural Malaria World Congress in July 2018, regional malaria elimination is front and centre for Minister Bishop.
Bill Gates welcomed Minister Bishop’s appointment to the End Malaria Council.
“Australia has shown strong leadership in the effort to eliminate malaria by investing in product development, strengthening health security systems and demonstrating regional approaches to disease elimination,’’ he said.
The announcement of Minister Bishop’s appointment follows news of successful outcomes from Australia’s previous investments in malaria-centred medical research and development. The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), which has been supported by the Australian aid program for the past three years, has launched new tools to aid the accuracy and quality of malaria diagnosis in remote and developing communities. The Medicines for Malaria Venture, another Australian-supported product development organisation, has reached an important milestone with the submission of a single-dose malaria treatment to US and Australian regulatory agencies.