Focus on health
07 April, 2012
A baby receives a dose of vitamin A at a UNICEF-supported health centre for women and children at Pobe City, Benin. Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2006-2852/Julie Pudlowski
Australian and PNG doctors and nurses performing surgery in Operation Open Heart. Port Moresby General Hospital, Papua New Guinea. Photo: Rocky Roe
Good health. Without it you have nothing, or so the saying goes. Healthy people can look after their children, hold down jobs and contribute to their country's development.
Sadly, every day more than 10,000 people are infected with HIV and more than 22,000 people become sick with tuberculosis. A woman dies in childbirth every minute, while more than 24,000 children under five die every day, largely from preventable diseases or conditions like diarrhoea, malnutrition and malaria.
Most of these deaths are in developing countries where access to medical care is limited because the services are too far away or too expensive, or there simply aren't enough trained doctors and nurses to help.
In these countries, awareness of and access to hygiene, sanitation and family planning can be limited. Most often, there simply isn't a system of health care in place to provide total care from health education to affordable medicines
Australia's support for health will increase to more than $555 million in 2010–11 with a focus on the health needs of women and children, tackling regional threats such as HIV and emerging infectious diseases, and addressing malaria and non-communicable diseases in the Pacific.
This series of stories looks at how Australia's is helping developing countries to improve people's health, especially the health of mothers and children.
Australia's contribtion to health
Last Reviewed: 19 November, 2010