Macquarie 50th Anniversary Award
The Macquarie 50th Anniversary Award funding will be used to establish projects in Fiji and the Solomon Islands to demonstrate that scabies can be eliminated as a public health problem at a national scale. To achieve this, medication will be supplied to treat 1.5 million people for two rounds of treatment and results will then be evaluated in each country. The funding will support the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and its partners to help establish a global strategy for scabies elimination, developing internationally endorsed protocols and training for community-based treatment.
People worldwide are affected by scabies
People expected to receive treatment from this funding
Expected in the prevalence of scabies with a single round of medicine
"We know it's safe, it's been given to over a billion people, and what we know from our research, and other's research, is that Ivermectin given to communities at the one time is highly effective in reducing the burden on scabies."
Professor Andrew Steer
Director, World Scabies Program
This video was filmed in April 2021.
According to data gathered by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute and its partners, scabies affects approximately 200 million people at any one time with about 450 million new cases every year. The condition can lead to severe skin infections and other fatal diseases, impacting the economic and social growth of communities globally.
It affects children like Addisu, who developed scabies soon after starting school in Ethiopia. The debilitating condition made it impossible for him to write and sit during lessons and eventually forced him to leave school. Fortunately, he received treatment which cured his scabies and he was able to resume his education within a year.
This story alone shows the life-changing impact treatment can have.
The Institute and its partners are using a medication called ivermectin to address this disease. Providing a single round of the drug in a community can reduce the prevalence of scabies from 30 per cent to under 2 per cent within 12 months. Work is now taking place to develop a global strategy for scabies control.
In FY2021, World Scabies Program, working to eliminate scabies in Fiji and the Solomon Islands, continued its preparations to roll out a community-level, mass drug administration of Ivermectin to protect people against scabies and its associated economic and health problems.
In FY2022, research released by Murdoch Children’s Research Institute’s World Scabies Program in collaboration with the Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Services and the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales, a study noted one dose of the anti-parasite drug ivermectin is just as effective as two at significantly reducing the spread of scabies. This study paves the way for a more cost-effective and efficient one-dose strategy for scabies control in countries where the disease is endemic, such as Fiji and the Solomons where Macquarie’s funding is helping to significantly reduce the incidence of scabies and prevent further disease.
The World Scabies Program is working with governments and partners to eliminate scabies as a public health problem. This program aims to put scabies control on national and global agendas, implement community wide treatment strategies, and strengthen health systems to monitor and manage scabies.
"Scabies is a disease of poverty. It’s a miserable disease that affects children more than any other group, with its transmission exacerbated by overcrowding and poor living circumstances."
Professor Andrew Steer, Director, Infection and Immunity Theme, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute