Senate debates

Wednesday, 15 August 2018



3:43 pm

Photo of Anne UrquhartAnne Urquhart (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

At the request of Senator Singh, I move:

That the Senate:

(a) notes that:

(i) Tuberculosis (TB) was declared an emergency in 1993 by the World Health Organization and causes more deaths than any other infectious disease - of the more than 10.4 million infected with TB in 2016, 1.7 million people died,

(ii) drug-resistant TB is one of the most common and deadly forms of all antimicrobial resistance in the world, accounting for a significant number of antimicrobial resistant deaths globally,

(iii) around the world, an estimated 4.1 million people with TB are not diagnosed, thus missing out on receiving quality care and treatment,

(iv) TB affects different populations inequitably and contributes to the cycle of ill-health and poverty,

(v) the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal to end the global TB epidemic by 2030 will not be met without new and more effective tools, and more innovative approaches to prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care and vaccination, and

(vi) TB is preventable, curable and can be ultimately eliminated through access to quality drugs, treatment and prevention, effective people-centred models of care, and innovation in identification and treatment;

(b) recognises:

(i) the United Nations (UN) General Assembly is holding the first-ever High-Level Meeting on TB on 26 September 2018, during the 73rd session of the General Assembly in New York,

(ii) the United Nations High-Level Meeting on TB provides an unprecedented and historic opportunity for world leaders to reaffirm their commitment and raise the resources required for ending the global TB epidemic by 2030,

(iii) the world should aim to increase the overall global investments for ending the TB epidemic to US$2 billion, and to close the estimated US$1.3 billion gap in funding annually for support to TB research and development for prevention, diagnosis treatment and care, and

(iv) Australia has supported global actions to reduce TB, including through contributions to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, its support to TB programs in Papua New Guinea and Kiribati, and through the Indo-Pacific Health Security Initiative in our support to Product Development Partnerships and research grants; and

(c) calls on the Australian Government to:

(i) ensure Australia has senior representation at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on TB in September, and

(ii) commit to support countries in the Indo-Pacific in their efforts for TB elimination.

3:44 pm

Photo of James McGrathJames McGrath (Queensland, Liberal National Party, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

I seek leave to make a short statement.

Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

Leave is granted for one minute.

Photo of James McGrathJames McGrath (Queensland, Liberal National Party, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

The government is committed to combating tuberculosis, which remains a serious challenge in our region. We have partnered with Papua New Guinea since 2012 to tackle TB. In Papua New Guinea, our efforts to address drug resistance in Western Province have helped to increase the proportion of people completing treatment to 99 per cent, up from 65 per cent in 2014.

The government's Indo-Pacific Health Security Initiative and contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria provide significant support regionally and globally. The government has been actively engaged in the preparations for the upcoming United Nations high-level meeting on TB.

Question agreed to.