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German Chancellor presented Australian statement on global health

German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel has received a position statement on global health from Australian scientists.

Australian Academy of Science President, Professor Andrew Holmes, and his colleagues from the S20 Science Forum presented the position statement late in March ahead of the G20 Summit in July.

“The Ebola and Zika epidemics have shown how disease in one country can have global impact. Infectious diseases are causing at least 15 per cent of cancer cases. And 15 per cent of tuberculosis cases may be linked to type II diabetes,” Professor Holmes said.

This issues illustrate why health will be an important focus at the G20 Summit, along with economic growth and financial market regulation.

The Science Academies of the G20 states have drawn up recommendations on improving global health and are playing an active role in the G20.

In their joint statement, the Academies offer strategies and tools to tackle communicable and non-communicable diseases and to strengthen public health systems. The joint document provides a basis for the G20 Summit consultations.

Professor Holmes was in Germany for the Science 20 Dialogue Forum where the statement was presented.

“Global health – specifically the management of both infectious and non-infectious diseases – still causes issues world-wide for individuals, health systems and economies alike,” he said.

“We are calling for strong short and long-term evidence-based strategies to address these issues.”

In the statement the G20 Academies of Sciences call for:

  • the strengthening of healthcare and public health systems;
  • applying existing and emerging knowledge;
  • addressing the broader social and environmental determinants of health; 
  • reducing serious risk factors for disease through education and promotion of healthy life styles;
  • ensuring access to health resources globally; and
  • enhancing and extending robust strategies for surveillance and information-sharing. 

Furthering research is a prerequisite for providing knowledge and new tools to meet these challenges.

You can read the full statement at: www.science.org.au/media

Chris Johnson