The Australian Government's Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security contributes to the avoidance and containment of infectious disease threats with the potential to cause social and economic harms on a national, regional or global scale.
The Centre is part of the Global Health Division in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It brings together expertise from relevant Australian government agencies and is advised by a Technical Reference Group. The Ambassador for Regional Health Security leads Australia’s engagement in relevant international forums.
With funding of $300 million from 2017-2022, the Health Security Initiative for the Indo-Pacific Region (HSI) informs evidence-based planning to help prevent avoidable epidemics, strengthened early detection capacity, and supported rapid, effective national and international outbreak responses.
Investments in country and regional projects in the Pacific and Southeast Asia support the strengthening of health information systems; disease surveillance and modelling; infection prevention and control, including antimicrobial resistance (AMR); vector surveillance and control; emergency operations; laboratory capacity; and workforces. These project investments are complemented by targeted support for the work of key multilateral organisations in our region, including the World Health Organization.
The Centre also supports the development of vaccines, drugs, diagnostics and mosquito-control tools through global partnerships. Australian funding has contributed to the development of 14 antimalarials and six TB medications, 24 diagnostic tests, and five mosquito-control tools that will enable enhanced disease prevention, detection and treatment for high-burden endemic diseases in our region.
The Centre plays a central role in supporting Australia’s regional COVID-19 response. Existing activities pivoted or expanded in 2020 to help partner governments develop and implement national COVID-19 response plans, with a focus on laboratory strengthening, surveillance, disease impact modelling, medical supplies and health emergency response training. The Centre also implements Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine access support to the countries of the Pacific and Southeast Asia, with funding of $623 million up to mid-2023. Australia has channelled almost 50 million COVID-19 vaccines to partner countries, along with support for national roll-outs.
The Centre commenced consultations with domestic, regional and international stakeholders in March 2022 on priorities for future investments in regional health security, taking account of the impacts of, and lessons learned during, the COVID-19 pandemic response in 2020 and 2021.