Health and social issues
The objectives of this program are to develop collaboration between Australia and India in public health and social issues, and to demonstrate in India the quality and innovation of Australian health services.
Dr Wendy Holmes, of the Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research, visited Tamil Nadu during 2001 to develop strategies to improve child survival by preventing parent-to-child transmission of HIV. The project involved collaboration with the Tamil Nadu Medical University and had the overall purpose of establishing the case for funding for a larger prevention, care and support project.
Associate Professor Elizabeth Dax, Director of the National Serology Reference Laboratory, Melbourne, received funding for the first stage of a project to develop a reference laboratory for blood services in Maharashtra. The project will build on previous AIC-supported blood quality assurance projects in seeking to improve the safety of the blood supply in Maharashtra by assuring accurate testing in laboratories for transfusion-transmitted infections. It is intended to serve as a model for similar separately funded quality assurance programs for other Indian states.
|Professor Guy Maddern of Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Adelaide (centre left) lectured on complex liver surgery at the Golden Jubilee conference of the Christian Medical College, Vellore, in August 2000. (Photo: Professor Maddern)|
Mr Frank Tesoriero of the School of Social Work and Social Policy at the University of South Australia is to manage an eight-week study tour to Adelaide during 2001–02 by eight staff of the Rural Unit for Health and Social Affairs (RUHSA), Tamil Nadu, to exchange skills and experience in primary health care practice and to promote cultural and other exchanges between RUHSA staff and the South Australian community.
Professor Stephen Cordner, Director of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, received funding to enable the participation of seven Indian forensic science practitioners in the Indo-Pacific Congress on Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences in Melbourne, held during September 2001.
Associate Professor Heather Mohay, of the Queensland Institute of Technology, began planning for an intensive training program for women involved in community-based early childhood education in Mumbai, to be implemented in 2001–02. The project is aimed at increasing literacy levels and education in health, hygiene and child development of the parents of children attending the Pratham community-based early childhood programs, as a model for a larger-scale project.
Other projects for which Council funding had been agreed in a previous financial year, and which progressed during 2000–01, included:
- a visit by Associate Professor Catherine McCarty of the Centre for Eye Research Australia, Melbourne, and Dr Jill Keeffe to Hyderabad to give lectures at the LV Prasad Eye Institute in September 2000
- as part of the same project, Indian eye specialists Dr Lalit Dandona and Ms Rakhi Dandona of the Prasad Institute visited Australia to share information about public health ophthalmology, including through the presentation of papers at the Australian Ophthalmic and Visual Science Meeting in Sydney in December 2000
- presentations by Dr James Young, of Lyell McEwin Hospital, Adelaide, on colo-rectal surgery, and Professor Guy Maddern, of Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Adelaide, on complex liver surgery, at the Golden Jubilee conference of the Christian Medical College, Vellore in August 2000
- a visit to India by Mr Paul Deany of the Centre for Harm Reduction (CHR), Macfarlane Burnet Centre for Medical Research, Melbourne, in August 2000 for the development of partnerships with Indian community HIV prevention agencies in Mumbai, Chennai, Calcutta and New Delhi.