Up to 100,000 Victorian babies could be enlisted to provide clues to what factors influence the healthy development of children in one of the world’s largest longitudinal studies of children.
Minister for Health Jill Hennessy was at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute to announce the ground-breaking Generation Victoria project or Gen V today.
The Andrews Labor Government is providing $2 million to the project – a partnership between the Government, the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the Paul Ramsay Foundation.
Gen V will provide comprehensive data to help guide researchers and governments in tackling issues including obesity, allergies, infection, social exclusion, poor mental health, learning and chronic health conditions such as diabetes and autism spectrum disorder.
Parents of every baby born in 2020 and 2021 would be invited to be followed for five years to create a holistic picture of the health and wellbeing and development of children, generating broad and continuously expanding data that can be used to inform policy and service delivery.
To support the Labor Government’s investment in genetic research and genomic technology, Ms Hennessy also released the Government’s strategy Genetic and Genomic Healthcare Framework for Victoria 2021.
As genomics is increasingly incorporated into routine healthcare and public health, the Labor Government wants clinical evidence to support the appropriate use of genomic information in improving the health of all Victorians.
The strategy’s priorities over the next two years include:
- Developing and implementing a state-wide genetic and genomic services plan
- Establishing a genomic health clinical network
- Undertaking community consultations on genomic ethical, legal and social issues
- Reducing superbugs and improving detection of infectious disease outbreaks through strengthening of microbial genomics.
This builds on the Government’s $33.3 million investment in genomic sequencing, which is helping thousands of Victorians with rare diseases or cancers get the diagnosis and treatment they need, faster.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy
“Generation Victoria will make a real difference to the health of all Victorians, but especially our children.”
“Through the Gen V project and our genetic and genomic healthcare plan we are setting the stage for future innovation in improving the health and wellbeing of all Victorians.”
“We’re making the investments we need to ensure Victoria remains a world-leader in medical research – and continues to save and change lives right across the state.”