Global effort to end malaria: Bishop

Julie Bishop says eradicating malaria is possible in our lifetime but eliminating the mosquito-borne disease must be done in partnership with other nations.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop

Australia will lead efforts to eradicate malaria in the Indo-Pacific with a $300m strategy. (AAP)

Australia is forking out millions of dollars to help end malaria in the Indo-Pacific region but it cannot do it alone, Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop says.

Speaking at the inaugural World Malaria Congress in Melbourne on Monday, Ms Bishop said Australia is "deeply committed" to eliminating the disease with a $300 million package to support efforts to end the disease, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region.

Under the package, $16 million will be used to fund seven new research projects in the region.

The projects include upskilling Papua New Guinea's frontline health workers and policy makers, strengthening water-borne disease prevention, and understanding the rise in antimicrobial resistance in Indonesia.

The package aims to help countries in the region respond to the threat of infectious diseases with enhanced prevention, detection and response capacity.

Ms Bishop, an End Malaria Council member, said the key to eradicating the mosquito-borne disease was to work in partnership across the globe.

"No one country, no one agency, no one foundation can do it alone," she said in her keynote speech.

"As we've seen with polio eradication we can eliminate malaria in our lifetime, it is a staged process.

"If we work collaboratively and collectively, this goal is within our grasp."

About 1000 delegates from 69 countries are attending the five day conference to boost co-operation and innovation to end the illness.

Ms Bishop previously announced Australia's plan to eradicate malaria in the Indo-Pacific region by 2030 while attending a malaria summit in London in April.

Malaria was eradicated in Australia in 1981.

Published 2 July 2018 at 2:26pm
Source: AAP