This project will investigate the extent to which trade reform (e.g. reduction in tariffs) in Indonesia has an impact on household heath quality as proxied by nutritional consumption. In doing this, the project will explore the heterogeneity in district levels on household responses to central government trade policy, in particular focusing on health-related attitudes. This will be an important step towards identifying the best institutional and administrative approaches in which policy could address health issues in district levels in Indonesia.
Innovative approaches to address primary prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases
Across the world, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have overtaken acute infectious diseases to become the leading cause of morbidity and mortality globally. In addition to mental disorders, NCDs such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic lung disease and cancers share the common lifestyle (behavioural) risk factors of tobacco use, unhealthy diet, harmful use of alcohol, and physical inactivity. The World Health Organization estimates that by 2020, NCD deaths will increase by 15%. The rise in NCDs is accompanied by prolonged economic impact; the cumulative lost economic output for 2011-2025 is estimated at more than US$7 trillion in low and middle income countries alone.
In Australia, 91% of deaths are now attributed to NCDs. In Australia, diabetes alone affects at least 1.1 million and is the 4th largest contributor to overall disease burden. The total costs associated with diabetes are estimated to be as high as $14 billion. Rising rates of obesity will only increase the prevalence of diabetes in Australia so it is not surprising that a new government taskforce has been established to prioritise national responses including prevention efforts and addressing the impact in the community. In Australia, NCDs and NCD risks (eg smoking, obesity) are most commonly experienced in the most disadvantaged communities, including in Indigenous communities.
While NCDs were once perceived as diseases of rich people in rich countries, the influence of the underlying drivers of NCDs (globalisation, urbanisation, powerful transnational corporations, economic development and ageing populations) is increasingly also being felt in emerging economies such as Indonesia. As in Australia, addressing the future burden of NCDs is a feature of all recent health plans that relate to Indonesia. For example, within the WHO Country Cooperation Plan Strategic Agenda for Indonesia (2013-17), 3 of 5 Strategic Priorities relate to NCDs. For example, Strategic Priority 2 is about promoting public health approaches to preventing and controlling NCDs. Strategic Priority 3 is about promoting policies and strengthening programmes to improve child, adolescent and reproductive health including primary prevention of NCDs.
While the burden of NCDs falls most acutely on adults, the risk factors that contribute to NCDs have their onset in early life, including during pregnancy (eg. gestational diabetes), in early childhood (malnutrition) and in adolescence (smoking, physical inactivity and obesity). It is for this reason that prevention strategies to address adult NCDs must commence during these early years.
Strategic research vision:
To reduce the burden of NCDs through innovative approaches which address primary prevention of NCD risks.
Heath and Medicine Cluster goals:
Defining and identifying gaps in key health data surrounding Non-Communicable Diseases in Australia and Indonesia.
Comparing the effects of exposure to formula milk advertising on mothers of young babies, and the people who influence their feeding decisions.
Develop a regional initiatives report to articulate how empowerment and prevention strategies are used to achieve early life equity in Indigenous and Tribal populations in Australia and Indonesia.
Investigating the extent to which trade reform in Indonesia has an impact on household heath quality
Assessing whether Indonesia’s National Social Health Insurance is able to provide Universal Health Coverage to households in the non-institutionalised employment sector
Providing original data on the epidemiology of severe pneumonia in Indonesian infants, and on the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among this high-risk group
Determining if protein antigens in two tuberculosis are recognised by the T cell immune responses in Indonesian patients