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Millions Allocated For Asia-Pacific Health

International Research Collaboration Allocates Millions For Asia-Pacific Health

Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) Chief Executive, Dr Bruce Scoggins, announced that the New Zealand government has, through the HRC, invested £1.35 million (more than NZ$3.7 million) in an international collaboration with the United Kingdom and Australia to try to address significant health problems in the Asia-Pacific region.

Added to the HRC investment, funding from the UK-based Wellcome Trust and Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council, means £11.86 million will be provided to eleven successful projects this year.

Dr Scoggins says this collaboration makes a major contribution to capacity building for research for Pacific people.

"These projects will strengthen the ties and collaborations which already exist with health researchers in other Pacific countries," he says. "It is an exciting initiative and we hope this will be an ongoing partnership between our three countries."

Two of the projects funded benefit New Zealand research groups.

One of these projects will receive support of £2.36 million (almost NZ$6.5 million) over five years and aims to provide data on the effectiveness of a range of interventions to prevent obesity among young people in Fiji, Tonga, New Zealand and Australia.

Two of the lead researchers involved in this project are Associate Professor Robert Scragg, University of Auckland and Professor Boyd Swinburn, ex-University of Auckland, now based at Victoria's Deakin University.

A study of traffic related injury in Fiji receives £620,000 (over NZ$1.7 million) funding. This three-year project, led by University of Auckland's Professor Rodney Jackson, aims to gain critical scientific knowledge that will inform future policies and procedures to reduce the human cost of traffic related injury in Fiji.

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