Photo: Childfund Australia
5 February 2015
Grassroots anti-poverty organisation, RESULTS International (Australia) welcomes the Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop’s announcement that the Government will give a three-year package of assistance to support tuberculosis control in Papua New Guinea worth $15 million.
Tuberculosis (TB) places an extraordinary economic burden on communities and traps people in poverty. It is estimated TB will rob the world’s poorest countries of an estimated USD $1 to $3 trillion over the next 10 years. The World Bank estimates that the loss of productivity attributable to TB is 4 to 7 per cent of some countries’ GDP.
RESULTS has been advocating for Australia to take the lead to stimulate a broader response to the TB problem, as it is an issue across the Asia Pacific region including in our neighbours PNG, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam.
“Given recent cuts to Australian aid we welcome this substantial increase in the Government’s commitment to TB in PNG. It clearly demonstrates Australia’s leading role in helping our near neighbours to fight TB,” CEO of RESULTS, Ms Maree Nutt, said.
“However, failure to address the lack of effective diagnostics, drugs and vaccines will continue to result in major long-term human and economic costs, which may pose a serious threat to the development and security of our region,” Ms Nutt continued.
“The real game changer will be bringing the tools to fight TB out of the dark ages, which Australia can support by delivering its medical research funding to help develop better drugs, diagnostics and an effective vaccine to end TB once and for all,” Ms Nutt said.
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