A new vector control Landscape Report provides policymakers and researchers with critical insights about steps needed to reduce health security threats posed by vector-borne diseases in the Indo-Pacific. The report was produced by Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC) with funding from the Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security, and launched on the sidelines of a Vector Control Platform in Asia Pacific (VCAP) workshop held on 7-8 November 2019 in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security commissioned a baseline report on regional health security earlier this year. Titled State of the Region 2019: Health Security in the Indo-Pacific, the report provides an overview of the current state of infectious disease threats in the region and the capacity of countries to avoid, detect and respond to these threats.
The Centre for Health Security hosted a panel discussion for health security scholar Dr Sara Davies to launch her latest book, Containing Contagion: The Politics of Disease Outbreaks in Southeast Asia, at the Australian Institute of International Affairs in Canberra on 2 April 2019.
Health security relies on a well-trained and equipped public health workforce, particularly for field epidemiology to prevent, detect and manage infectious disease. Partnering with the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at Australian National University, the Centre for Health Security supported a week-long Train the Trainers workshop for field epidemiology leaders from across the Indo-Pacific.
“Women should not be afraid to try something new or grab an opportunity and make something out of it,” says Grace Mahabi, a radiographer at the Daru General Hospital in Western Province.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Medical Imaging Science degree in 2017, Grace joined the screening initiative this year following a residency at Port Moresby General Hospital and Daru General Hospital respectively. Her role on board the mobile van is key to tackling the deadly disease through early identification and diagnosis.
Dr Probandari is a chief investigator on the PINTAR project funded under the Health Security Initiative for the Indo-Pacific in 2018. This project seeks to improve the use of antibiotics by private drug sellers (PDS) in Indonesia. As the largest country in the region with around 258 million people, most of whom obtain their antibiotics without prescription from PDS, Indonesia has a major role to play in addressing the inappropriate use of antibiotics and curtailing the threat of Antimicrobial Resistance.
The first cohort of ASEAN-Australia Health Security Fellows commenced at Australian National University (ANU) in February, as part of a major investment by the Health Security Initiative to build workforce capacity for health security in the region. The four Fellows will undertake studies as part of the Master of Philosophy in Applied Epidemiology (MAE) and conduct field work on health security threats in Cambodia and Laos.
Following consultation with partners in Cambodia and Laos and a detailed selection process, Vannida Douangboupha (from the National Centre for Laboratory and Epidemiology in Vientiane, Laos) and Srean Chhim (from the Institut Pasteur, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia) were chosen from a wide field of infectious disease experts from ASEAN countries.
Two Solomon Islanders, Cynthia Joshua and Seraphina Elisha, have now become the first fellows trained in field epidemiology, through the Field Epidemiology Training Program in Papua New Guinea’s (FETPNG). Mentored by Australian Health Security Corps member Mica Hartley, the two fellows worked on implementing projects to improve national surveillance systems.
The Indo-Pacific Regulatory Strengthening Program will strengthen the capabilities of National Regulatory Authorities in the region, and improve access to quality registered medical products, mitigating diseases threatening public health. The Centre for Health Security and the Australian Department of Health’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) launched the Indo-Pacific Regulatory Strengthening Program on 3 October 2018, alongside the ASEAN Regulators' Roundtable in Singapore. Six countries in the Indo-Pacific region: Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam and Laos PDR, will participate in the program.