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The Australian government is providing $8.3 million (US$5.6 million) for four research projects to help tackle the threat of drug resistant tuberculosis and antimicrobial resistance among neighbouring Pacific Islands.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt says the research has the potential to save thousands of lives in the Pacific and around the world.
“The World Health Organisation estimates around 10 million people each year fall sick with TB, with nearly 60 per cent of new cases each year occurring in the Indo-Pacific region,” Minister Hunt said in a statement.
Around half of the funding - $4.25 million (US$2.9 million) - is aimed at research being conducted by Professor Barend Marais of the University of Sydney, which will focus on the hotspot of Kiribati.
Three other projects selected for funding under the initiative are based at the University of Melbourne and the Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health in Melbourne.
Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne, said the research reinforced Australia's close relationship and commitment to supporting Pacific Island countries.
Senator Payne said the research would complement work being done to support intensive TB detection and treatment in the Indo-Pacific region, funded by $5 million (US$3.4 million) announced by the government in August 2019.
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