M. Whitfeld 1 , A. Steer2, D. Engelman3, J. Kaldor4, L. Romani4, M. Hardy3
Scabies is one of the commonest dermatological condi- tions, accounting for a substantial proportion of skin dis- ease in developing countries. Globally, it is estimated to affect more than 200 million people at any time. In 2017 scabies and ectoparasites were added to the list of WHO Neglected Tropical Diseases, and a WHO call for global action was made.
Our expanded team of Australian Scabies researchers have worked in collaboration with The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) since 2007, led by Professor Andrew Steer to conduct research into the problem of endemic scabies and it’s complications, primarily in Fiji and The Solomon Islands.
The team has conducted research into different scabies treatments using strategies including Mass Drug treat- ment. These have been funded through multiple small grants including ACD Scientiﬁc Research Fund grants and subsequently through the Kirby Institute, MCRI, three NHMRC grants, and with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Global Eradication of Lymphatic Filariasis.
In 2019 the Macquarie Group Foundation provided $50 million dollars to support ﬁve projects of Global signiﬁ- cance that seek to initiate or build on a bold idea that addresses an area of social need.
The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute through its Tropical Diseases Research Group was one of two Aus- tralian winners, with a goal to form the World Scabies elimination program. This program will support two countries (Fiji and the Solo- mon Islands) roll-out national control programs to elimi- nate scabies from affected communities and develop global partnerships.