Aussie bid to com­bat re­gional dis­ease risk

Sunday Tasmanian - - News -

DEADLY in­fec­tions that could rapidly spread in neigh­bour­ing coun­tries, dam­ag­ing the re­gional econ­omy, will be com­bated with a cash in­jec­tion by the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment.

For­eign Min­is­ter Julie Bishop will be in Queens­land to­day where she will an­nounce the $300 mil­lion in­vest­ment to help pre­vent and con­tain dis­ease out­breaks that could po­ten­tially have dev­as­tat­ing eco­nomic im­pacts.

The money will fund pro­grams in the Indo-Pa­cific coun­tries which in­cludes the In­dian Ocean, eastern part of the Pa­cific, north and south­east Asia as well as Aus­tralia.

Fund­ing will flow to a num­ber of pro­grams over five years in­clud­ing re­search to ad­dress drug re­sis­tance in tu­ber­cu­lo­sis and malaria.

Ms Bishop said Aus­tralia’s health se­cu­rity was linked to the health se­cu­rity of our Indo-Pa­cific neigh­bours.

“Dis­eases such as Ebola, MERS and Zika virus do not re­spect bor­ders,” she said.

“A ma­jor epi­demic could po­ten­tially dis­rupt tourism, trade, in­vest­ment and peo­ple move­ment, set­ting back re­gional eco­nomic growth.”

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