The Premier of New South Wales, Barry O’Farrell, has voiced his support for a proposed Newcastle-based project aimed at improving public health in Australia and India.
The project would combine Newcastle’s world-recognised expertise in public health research with India’s outstanding technology knowledge to develop apps on mobile phones and tablet devices to promote better health.
Focused on non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, the project would be led by the University of Newcastle Australia.
Mr O’Farrell said the opportunity to partner with renowned Indian medical researchers, specialists and IT innovators opened the prospect of improved health outcomes for people in regional and remote areas.
“Diabetes and cardiovascular disease are major health challenges in India and Australia, and this innovative project has the potential to deliver health improvements in both our countries,” Mr O’Farrell said.
“I’m very pleased to see the University of Newcastle and the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad working together to develop projects to improve public health – it reflects the depth of the growing relationship between our two countries.
“The University of Newcastle is a recognised leader in health research and well known for its collaborative projects.”
Professor Nicholas Talley, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Health) at the University of Newcastle, said the partnership would allow the two countries to work closely together to achieve practical health benefits for their communities.
“The Indian state of Andhra Pradesh and NSW both face severe public health challenges in relation to diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” Professor Talley said.
“Rural and remote regions of these two states would be the initial target of the proposed project as these smaller communities often do not have access to a wide range of public health services.
“Through technology, we will empower people with knowledge about lifestyle decisions they can make to stay healthy.”
In NSW, the most recent data suggests cardiovascular disease accounts for 32 per cent of deaths and an estimated four per cent of residents live with diabetes. Across Australia, diabetes was the underlying cause of three per cent of deaths, and contributed to 10 per cent of deaths.
In Hyderabad yesterday, the Premier met with researchers and medical specialists from the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, and to lend NSW government support to the University’s efforts to deepen partnerships.
Leaders for the Australia-India initiative from University of Newcastle's Faculty of Health are Professor Prasuna Reddy and Professor Kichu Nair.
For information contact: Katie Porritt at the University of Newcastle on 0418 445 888.