Indigenous health: Menzies School of Health Research
Health outcomes and economic contribution to Northern Territory, Australia and Asia Pacific
This report by Deloitte Access Economics reveals the Menzies School of Health Research, Australia’s leading indigenous health research institute, made a social and economic contribution of $393 million to the Australian economy from 2002 to 2010. For the Northern Territory alone the contribution was $87 million for the same period.
The report highlights scientific breakthroughs in regional health, including:
- 85% less deaths from the bacterial disease, melioidosis
- A joint Menzies and Royal Darwin Hospital team saw the antibiotic G-CSF added to drug options for septic shock in melioidosis sufferers. After this discovery, mortality rates dropped from 95% to 10%
- 35% fewer severe malaria deaths thanks to new drug treatment
- Menzies helped identify that the drug artesunate reduces the mortality of severe malaria by 35% compared with conventional intravenous drug quinine. This finding helped trigger changes in the WHO’s Global Malaria Treatment Guidelines
- 1 in 10 extra lives saved from Rheumatic Heart Disease in NT Aboriginal men
- The NT Rheumatic Heart Disease Control Program, instigated largely as a result of Menzies research, identified pre-existing RHD-cases so as to improve clinical care. As a result, RHD-related mortality rates in NT Aboriginal males dropped from 25.5 per 1,000 in 1987-1996 to 14.8 per 1,000 in 1997-2005.