Visit strengthens ties with India

25 August 2010

The visiting Indian group with the Consul General and University of Sydney medical staff.
The visiting Indian group with the Consul General and University of Sydney medical staff.

A group of public health professionals from India has arrived in Sydney to receive training from some of Australia's leading specialists in HIV and sexually transmitted infections.

The three-month visit is being hosted by the University of Sydney, which has obtained an AusAID Australian Leadership Awards Fellowship grant in association with the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI).

HIV and sexually transmitted infections present major public health challenges to both developing and developed countries, with millions of adults and children becoming infected and dying each year. In India, 2.5 million adults currently live with HIV.

The evolving epidemics have particularly affected resource-poor countries, leading to increased demand for both educational opportunities and research skills.

The ten Indian health professionals will be based at the University's Sexually Transmitted Infections Research Centre (STIRC), an internationally known research and teaching centre at the Western Clinical School, where they will be working with Professor Adrian Mindel, Associate Professor Richard Hillman and Dr Shailendra Sawleshwarkar.

The three-month program provides a comprehensive overview of the prevention and management of HIV infection. It includes specialist training, visits to centres of excellence, work placements and leadership workshops.

The Indian government's National AIDS Control Programme includes a commitment to strengthening human resources and the PHFI is a major contributor to this strategy. The visit is intended to help India to build capacity in research, health program management and policy development.

At the end of the program, participants will be able to use their skills to build capacity in the prevention and treatment of HIV in India. The program will also provide them with the opportunity to collaborate with Australian counterparts and develop a network for ongoing advice, assistance and collaboration, reinforcing the relationship between the two countries.

The group attended a reception at the Consulate General of India in Sydney this week, where they were welcomed by the Consul General Mr Amit Dasgupta.

Contact: Richard North

Phone: 02 9351 3191

Email: 1725055a3244217d5a2a330c182410202c07063f430f3c251e2f33