Government delivers funding boost to dental health of indigenous children

dental health of indigenous children
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The Cook Government in WA is providing more than $2 million to support two Western Australian-based research projects—one focused on the dental health of Indigenous children in remote communities. (The other one is targeting mental health issues for students.)

Medical Research Minister Stephen Dawson said the funding was being provided via the Government’s successful Future Health Research and Innovation (FHRI) Fund through its Major Research Application Support (MRAS) program.

The MRAS program is designed to provide financial support for WA-based research teams applying for nationally and internationally competitive grants to boost their chance of success.

Two MRAS recipients were successful in securing funding through the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) Partnership Project scheme, securing the third highest allocation of funding for WA.

One of these was the University of Western Australia’s Dr Peter Arrow. He received almost $1.5 million in NHMRC funding for a project that aims to improve the dental health of Indigenous children in remote communities.

The study is looking at the use of silver fluoride and tele-dentistry to manage and prevent childhood dental decay.

It is anticipated these measures will improve the dental health of recipients not only in childhood but through to adulthood.

The Cook Government established the productive FHRI Fund in 2020, which is backed by the State’s almost $1.8 billion sovereign wealth fund. This has resulted in nearly $250 million being available over the next four years to support health and medical research and innovation in Western Australia.

“This recent round of national grants success demonstrate how WA’s talented cohort of researchers are taking a unique approach to tackling important and relevant issues facing the community,” Minister Dawson said.

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