The Royal Children’s Hospital, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the University of Melbourne have collaborated to launch a new initiative, Melbourne Children’s Global Health (MCGH).
Officially launched last week, MCGH aims to improve the health of children and adolescents in disadvantaged populations by developing partnerships in research, public health, education and advocacy.
The collaboration will support the work already being done at the Melbourne Children’s Campus by supporting us to secure research funding, strengthening our standing at international forums, and enabling researchers to better share information and resources.
MCRI Director Professor Kathryn North AM said under the banner of MCGH, the three organisations will work with 45 low-resource countries to improve child and adolescent health equity.
“For example, we hope to bring our new rotavirus vaccine to millions of Indonesian children,” she said.
“MCGH will work with Indonesian researchers and clinicians to ensure that this new vaccine is used to best effect.”
Head of Melbourne University’s Medical School, Professor John Prins, said many of the MCGH projects focus on supporting health workers in developing countries to improve patient care.
“Our projects are collaborative,” he said.
“For example, Melbourne paediatricians work alongside paediatricians in countries in Asia Pacific and Africa designing better training programs for new doctors.”
RCH Board Chairman, the Hon Rob Knowles AO, said the three organisations were already having a major impact in the Asia Pacific region.
“This new initiative allows us to leverage the collaboration and innovation we see across the Melbourne Children’s partnership and deliver improved outcomes for children across the globe,” he said
It is also hoped the new initiative will ultimately lead to:
- faster development of vaccines and treatments for conditions including rotavirus, pneumonia, meningitis, scabies, trachoma, stomach cancer, rheumatic heart disease
- trials of new interventions to tackle the growing burden of adolescent mental health issues
- more effective ways to detect and manage drug-resistant tuberculosis
- helping save lives by improving medical training and facilities in hospitals around the world.
The MCGH launch event recognised the progress that has been made in child and adolescent health, and outlined future work in this area.
Following this, a full day seminar was held to celebrate the progress that has been made globally and outline current challenges, areas for action and what can be achieved through the Sustainable Development Goals.