TOPICAL, TROPICAL HEALTH

 

Scientists from the Queensland Tropical Health Alliance (QTHA) are debating how industry, government and research can combine to improve health in the tropics.

 

The Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) is hosting the 2012 QTHA annual conference (September 17-18) in Brisbane.

 

Key speakers this morning spoke of the links between health and tourism.  

 

Daniel Gschwind, CEO, of the Queensland Tourism Industry Council told the conference that tourist operators should be involved in emergency plans.

 

 "Tourism contributes $18 billion to the QLD economy, and there is $58 million in visitor expenditure every day," Mr Gschwind said.

 

"Because some tourism businesses are remote, it means they're often the lifeline for visitors in emergency situations providing transport, accommodation and advice.

 

"The support role that tourism can play is vital." 

 

Professor Graeme Hugo, Director of the Australian Population and Migration Research Centre at the University of Adelaide spoke about the implications of an ageing population for health and research.

 

"Currently 82% of our population live in Southern Australia and we need to consider where future growth will occur. One possibility is that most of that growth will be in northern tropical Australia where there is access to much more run-off water."

 

"But  there are significant environmental constraints on population growth which will be complicated by climate change," Professor Hugo said.

 

QTHA director, Professor Louis Schofield, said the conference should stimulate dialogue between industry, government and the research community.

 

"There are lessons to be learnt from our experiences and today we are sharing those with the aim to create more opportunities for Queensland research into tropical health," Professor Schofield said.

 

Key speakers tomorrow include Dr Gary Krieger, Principal of Newfields, speaking about Tropical Health Solutions to Support Mining.

 

The full program can be found at www.qtha.com.au

 

QIMR will also host a free public forum tomorrow night from 6pm on "Diseases You Catch in a Changing World." Speakers include Professor Andreas Suhrbier from QIMR's Immunovirology Laboratory,  on the topic:  "As humanity destroys the planet, will the planet fight back with disease."

 

Details of the public forum are at  www.qimr.edu.au

 

For more information or to arrange an interview contact

Lisa Jones +61 (0) 477904853 or +61 (0) 405620747 or email email/lisa.jones1)(jcu.edu.au

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