Australia's Health Security Initiative for the Indo-Pacific region aims to contribute to regional health security through action at the global, regional and national levels, spanning support for research and development, multilateral and regional organisations, and country capacity building. In the first half of 2018, two high-level scoping teams comprising Centre for Health Security staff and health security experts completed consultations with partner governments and other stakeholders in the Pacific and Southeast Asia to identify priorities for investment. Drawing on this scoping exercise and ongoing consultations with a range of Australian and international organisations, a Strategic Framework for the Health Security Initiative was developed in early 2019. Activities supported by the Health Security Initiative are closely coordinated with those funded by other donors and leverage DFAT’s existing health investments wherever possible.
Country & regional programs
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Supporting national medicines regulatory authorities to work together effectively improves the impact and safety of medical products through more efficient regulation. To this end, Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration is working with key Indo-Pacific counterpart authorities to improve regulatory systems and processes, including through sharing regulatory information.
CSIRO’s Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) has longstanding experience and expertise in detecting animal health diseases in the Indo-Pacific. This program enables AAHL to share expertise and resources through twinning arrangements with laboratories in Indonesia and Myanmar, and through regional capacity building activities.
In partnership with the Australian National University (ANU), the Fellowships program aims to build high-level skills and expertise in epidemiology. Fellows are supporting the work of the Pasteur Institute in Cambodia, the National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology in Laos and other regional institution.
Tupaia combines data from multiple sources to help improve the availability of medicines, map disease outbreaks, respond to disasters and strengthen service provision in the Indo-Pacific.
DFAT supports the World Mosquito Program (WMP) to trial the use of Wolbachia bacteria to reduce the transmission of the dengue virus, as well as other arboviruses including Zika and chikungunya, in several countries in the Pacific and Southeast Asia.
Pacific Infectious Disease Prevention (PIDP) and ASEAN-Pacific Infectious Disease Detection and Response (APIDDaR) programs
In March 2019, DFAT opened a call for proposals under the Health Security Initiative for country-specific and multi-country activities to strengthen infectious disease detection, prevention and response in the Indo-Pacific region. Two streams of funding were established:
The Pacific Infectious Disease Prevention (PIDP) program is limited to PNG, the Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste. PIDP supports activities to mitigate infectious disease threats through support for infection prevention and control; vector (mosquitoes and other insects) control; surveillance of infectious diseases, immunisation coverage and treatment-resistance in pathogens and vectors. The total funding allocated to this program is $25 million over 2019-2022.
- The ASEAN-Pacific Infectious Disease Detection and Response program (APIDDaR, covering both the Pacific and Southeast Asia) helps to build capacity to detect and respond to disease outbreaks through laboratory strengthening; workforce development (particularly for the field epidemiology workforce); and improved outbreak detection and management systems. The total funding allocated to this program is $28 million over 2019-2022.
As at November 2019, the Centre for Health Security is undertaking a collaborative design process with a group of preferred partner organisations, who were selected on the basis of demonstrated organisational capacity and activity concepts.