ASHM International invited colleagues from Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste to VH2022, followed by two days reflecting on conference lessons and sharing experiences. These discussions preceded the co-design of a project supporting the Triple Elimination of HIV, Syphilis and Hepatitis B parent-to-child transmission in each country, starting July 2022.
Face-to-face collaboration resumed for ASHM International recently when colleagues from Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste came together at the 13th Australasian Viral Hepatitis Conference in Brisbane. This follows two years of remote collaboration and support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Attending from Papua New Guinea was representative of the National Department of Health, Dr Nano Gideon and representative of the Catholic Church Health Services (CCHS) Graham Apian. Attending from Timor-Leste was Bernardino da Cruz from the National HIV, Hepatitis and STI Program, Dr Celia Gusmao dos Santos from the National Hospital Guido Valadares, Caetano Gusmao from the National Health Institute and Dr Fairuziah Alkatiri, a consultant with ASHM International.
Attendance at VH2022 provided an opportunity for delegates to reflect on where each country is along their journey to identify, treat and prevent Hepatitis B, and how to take forward discussion once home. Delegates shared that it was also helpful to hear the ongoing challenges in Australia, and to know that they weren’t alone in their need to address systemic issues for improved access to testing, treatment and prevention.
Two days of reflection and discussion following VH2022 created an opportunity for shared learning between Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste. Participants shared their country’s experiences of Triple Elimination and reviewed the progress of the work done to date.
A co-design approach was then used to understand what steps are needed to progress Triple Elimination, and how ASHM might be best placed to support this in PNG and Timor-Leste.
These conversations will form the foundation of a Triple Elimination project funded with the support of ASHM’s members and the Australian Government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).
You can contribute to this project by donating when you renew your ASHM Membership. Every donation made will be combined with additional funding from the Australian Government to expand the project’s reach.