Hillary Clinton acknowledges former Ballarat woman

A FORMER Ballarat woman has been acknowledged by United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, for helping to create a life-saving new drug concept.Monash University researcher Dr Michelle McIntosh spoke at a health forum in Washington DC on July 28, explaining that her research team received funding to engineer a drug that could save the lives of mothers of newborn children in developing countries.The project has the potential to dramatically reduce the roughly 150,000 women each year dying from blood loss after delivery of a baby.The team of researchers at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, will attempt to develop the drug oxytocin for aerosol delivery. In her speech, Mrs Clinton highlighted at the forum the potential game-changing impact of the research.“If you are dealing with the very common problem of bleeding during childbirth the most common treatment, a drug called oxytocin, is delivered by injection,” she said.“Converting that medical intervention into an aerosol spray that can be inhaled through a simple disposable device immediately after childbirth — no needles, no cold storage, no bloodborne diseases — has the potential to save many lives.”Dr McIntosh said she and her team were delighted to be recognised by Mrs Clinton and their colleagues around the world.“It’s a great honour to be acknowledged for our work on this global campaign affecting third-world countries,” she said.She said her team would now start work on engineering an oxytocin powder which will allow patients to inhale the drug immediately after childbirth.“This approach will remove the need for cold-chain storage and will open up the possibility of oxytocin being available to women in situations where highly trained health workers are not available.”