In a meeting with Madagascar’s Prime Minister and Health Minister Dr Roger Kolo during my recent visit to the Indian Ocean region, I announced over $40,000 in new funding for one of Australia’s most respected humanitarian organisations Australian Doctors for Africa (ADFA).
I was pleased that Curtin electorate resident Dr Graham Forward, an eminent West Australian surgeon and founder of the organisation, joined me in announcing the funding to purchase equipment, train doctors and to continue working in partnership with Madagascar’s hospitals.
Australia has provided $150,000 to ADFA under the Australian NGO Cooperation Program. The Australian Embassy has also supported ADFA projects at the Toliara hospital in South Madagascar.
The annual Little Feet Walk from Swanbourne to Cottesloe in the Curtin electorate is also an important fundraiser for the Perth-based NGO and an event supported by the local community.
Last year, Mr Forward was awarded a Curtin University John Curtin medal in recognition of his role in founding and building ADFA which has delivered more than $10 million worth of medical supplies and equipment to African communities affected by severe health issues over the past ten years.
At the project launch in Madagascar Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls Natasha Stott Despoja and I were pleased to learn more about ADFA’s work in the fields of maternal and neo-natal health, and improving access to women’s health facilities.
The announcement of Australian Government support will allow ADFA to continue working in partnership with Madagascar’s Military Hospital, the University Hospital and the Clinique St Luc to effect significant change in healthcare in Madagascar.
I also acknowledge the support of Air Madagascar and Air Mauritius for their assistance in enabling excess baggage for medical equipment and supplies. The on-going support of the Malagasy Government in facilitating these efforts is also vital.