Strengthening regional preparedness for emerging health threats and building country-level health systems that are responsive to people’s needs is the focus of the Australian Government’s Health for Development Strategy 2015-2020.

The new strategy, announced at the Burnet Institute’s Health and Papua New Guinea event, recognises health as a foundation for human development, economic growth and poverty reduction.

It also identifies improved access to clean water, sanitation, hygiene and good nutrition as preconditions for good health.

Building strong public health systems and services in key partner countries in South East Asia and the Pacific will not only improve health outcomes and save lives, it will also help protect the health of Australians and our economic and trade interests.

Our region is particularly vulnerable to disease outbreaks that can spread across borders, with significant human and economic costs. We will use our aid and diplomatic influence to encourage regional collaboration on these issues.

The Strategy highlights the importance of engaging private sector partners, which are a significant financier and provider of health services.

We will continue to focus on innovation and developing new approaches and technologies that meet the needs of our region, including tackling drug resistant tuberculosis and malaria.

Media enquiries

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