Tackling premature death in Pacific Islanders caused by conditions such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease is the focus of a project funded by AusAID.

UNSW received two of the five grants awarded for health research in the recent round of the AusAID Development Research Awards Scheme.

Almost $1.1 million will be spent investigating the trends in non-communicable disease (NCDs) risk factors in the Pacific and how to best allocate resources to control them. NCDs are medical conditions which are non-infectious and non-transmissible among people.

“We have seen a dramatic rise in NCDs in this region in the last 30 years,” says Richard Taylor, UNSW Professor of Public and International Health, who will be leading the research. “In many cases, these countries are exceeding the rates of NCDs in developed countries.”

Associate Professor Virginia Wiseman, also from the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, is leading a project investigating an assessment of equity in health care financing in Timor-Leste and Fiji.

Almost $1.2 million will be spent assessing the burden of financing and benefits from the delivery of health care, which will allow the countries to make decisions on how to improve access to this essential service.

Media contact: Susi Hamilton, UNSW Media Office, 0422 934 024