Million dollar boost to One Disease for indigenous life expectancy

Young Aboriginal girl with bright flower in her hair looking out towards the ocean

Diseases such as scabies, which affects an estimated 70% of children in remote regions of the country may be eased thanks to MSD funding boost to One Disease—a non-for-profit organisation.

Announced yesterday, the MSD funding injection is being matched dollar-for-dollar by an unnamed benefactor.

According to a statement, this is the first hit in a list of diseases targeted.

The new funding will support two skin health nurses to identify and manage the severe form of scabies in East and West Arnhem Land. The nurses will assist in training local clinics and educating both clinics and households with recurrent scabies problems.

The results will be used to develop best practice guidelines for scabies management across the country.

Dr Susanne Fiedler, MSD managing director, says the donation is part of MSD’s overall commitment to address complex public health challenges through investments that address the barriers to health care.

“At MSD, our responsibility to help reduce the burden of disease is at the heart of our mission to improve and save lives,” she says.

“Addressing public health issues begins with our unwavering commitment to the research and development of innovative therapies and approaches to meet critical, unmet medical needs. We are proud to partner with One Disease and support their work to address scabies in Australia.”

“We warmly thank MSD for this donation and extend our heartfelt thanks to the unnamed benefactor who has generously matched the contribution dollar-for-dollar,” says One Disease founder and chair, Dr Sam Prince.

“These funds will bring us one step closer to our goal to empower Indigenous Australians to self-manage scabies, reduce the disease burden and ultimately, eliminate the severe form of the disease by 2030.”

One Disease is a not-for-profit organisation which was established to help eliminate disease from indigenous communities. Founded by Dr Sam Prince in 2010, One Disease currently works with 28 communities across the Northern Territory to address scabies by empowering the communities to self-manage the disease.

Image: One Disease

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