Indigenous baby health research gets $12m

November 10, 2017

Dianne Walker put her newborn baby into the study 29 years ago and she's pleased about the funding.

The federal government will pledge more than $12 million for nine Northern Territory medical research projects which target Aboriginal children's health.

The Turnbull government on Friday announced the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funding for researchers at Darwin's Menzies School of Medical Research.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion says the investment focuses on chronic diseases to help close the gap on Aboriginal life expectancy.

He said it'll support Menzies to undertake a trial of maternal immunisation to prevent pneumonia in infants.

Menzies will also continue a 30-year study of almost 700 Aboriginal children born to mothers at the Royal Darwin Hospital to identify disease risk factors.

Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt says the research will help save the lives of Territory kids.

"From diet improvement to vitamin supplements and antibiotics, this broad range of critical work will continue to increase our clinical knowledge," he said.

Menzies Director Professor Alan Cass said the money would allow his team of experts to tackle critical health issues plaguing Aboriginal Australians.

"We aim to make the maximal difference," Prof Cass said.


* Preventing early-onset pneumonia in indigenous infants through maternal immunisation.

* Vitamin D supplementation trial to prevent respiratory infections.

* Early life and contemporary influences on body composition, mental health, and chronic disease risk markers.

* Antibiotics study to reduce hospitalisations in children with respiratory tract infections.

* Reducing retail merchandising of junk food and beverages in remote Indigenous community stores.

* Diabetes and cardiovascular risk among Indigenous women after pregnancy complicated by hyperglycaemia.

* A study of community-acquired pneumonia in children and adults in tropical Australia.

* Vaccine and antibiotic selective pressures on the microbiology of otitis media in northern Australia.

* an equipment grant.

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