Random Analytica

Charts, Infographics & Analysis without the spin

Mefloquine and Tafenoquine use by the Australian Defence Force 1990 – 2017

Mefloquine and Tafenoquine are two different types of anti-malarial drugs that have been prescribed to deploying troops as far back as 1990 but trialled extensively by the Australian Defence Force at the turn of the century. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation wrote. Defence force admits soldier shouldn’t have been included in East Timor anti-malaria drug trial. Excerpt:

The Australian Defence Force has acknowledged it accidentally exposed one of its soldiers to controversial anti-malarial drugs during trials in East Timor, despite the soldier having a medical history of mental illness which should have precluded his involvement.

The soldier, Chris Salter, developed chronic depression and psychosis after inclusion in the Timor trials of psychoactive drugs mefloquine and tafenoquine.His illness has led to repeated suicide attempts and more than a dozen stays in psychiatric hospitals. He is unable to work or care for his family.

Since the trials, which included thousands of Australian soldiers between 2001 and 2003, a small group of veterans have developed severe mental illnesses. They believe the ADF erred by giving them the drugs even though there was a significant body of research which pointed to the drugs’ side effects, which in some cases are permanent.

I just wanted to get a chart posted which highlighted the use of Mefloquine and Tafenoquine in Australian soldiers over the past 30-years. Currently most of the documentation concentrates on the trial periods (1998 – 2002) yet deploying forces were exposes to the risks of these drugs prior to that with deployments to Cambodia, Rwanda, Somalia and Papua New Guinea. I’ll update the chart as new information comes to hand.


Explanatory Notes:

1992: Somalia – Awaiting more information
1993: Cambodia – Awaiting more information
1994: Rwanda – One confirmed mefloquine dosage. Awaiting more info
1997: PNG – One confirmed mefloquine dosage. Awaiting more info
1998: Bougainville – Peace Monitoring Group – 201 troops given Tafenoquine (note: Stuart McCarthy’s notes state 374 troops were given Tafenoquine).
2000: East Timor – 639 troops given Tafenoquine during trials.
2000: East Timor – 162 troops given Mefloquine during the Double-Blind trial
2000: East Time – 492 troops given Tafenoquine during the Double-Blind trial
2001: Australia – 31 troops given Tafenoquine to test for Relapse Prevention
2001: East Timor – 1,157 troops given Mefloquine during the last major trial of the drug

An excellent resource for understanding the trial intensity of both anti-malarial drugs is Stuart McCarthy’s Summary of ADF Mefloquine and Tafenoquine Clinical Trials 1998 – 2002. See attached:


Data Sources

  1. Mefloquine http://www.defence.gov.au/Health/HealthPortal/Malaria/Anti-malarial_medications/Mefloquine/default.asp
  2. Randomized, double-blind study of the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of tafenoquine versus mefloquine for malaria prophylaxis in nonimmune subjects https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19995933
  3. Summary of ADF Mefloquine and Tafenoquine Clinical Trials 1998 – 2002 https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Foreign_Affairs_Defence_and_Trade/Mefloquine/Submissions

Measles in Australia (as at 18th April 2019)

I’ve been watching the news about various measles outbreaks across the globe and wondered how badly Australia had been impacted (or infected). After reading a few articles it dawned on me that no single entity looked after the data as it was a state or territory issue and each state reported infectious diseases differently. Not best practice for highly infectious diseases.

In terms of the measles numbers for Australia. I have put a tentative number of 109 across all states and territories. That eclipses last year’s total of 103 cases and the 81 cases recorded in 2017.


The State by State breakdown with links

If we have broken the measles record for recent years in the first four months one can only guess at the eventual total. One to watch…

45th Parliament of Australia Suspensions (Hon Tony Smith MP)

Here is a look at the 45th Parliament where the Honourable Tony Smith quietly overtook the Honourable Bronwyn Bishop as the Speaker who has delivered the most two-hour suspensions via the 94(a) ruling. Interestingly, Tony Smith did not ‘name’ anyone during the 45th Parliament. Naming a sitting member means a 24-hour or 94(b) suspension.


In the 166-days parliamentary days that Tony Smith occupied the Speakers chair he averaged 2.5 suspensions per day. His suspension average topped >3 between the 7th September to 18th October 2017 with his highest average of 3.08 recorded on the 14th September 2017. Members of the opposition represented 95.9% of his suspensions with only 17 Coalition members asked to take a 2-hour break. Anthony Pasin was the most removed MP from the Coalition with four suspensions.


In the naughty corner the most for the 45th Parliament was the member for Bruce, Julian Hill who received 29 two-hour suspensions. The most suspended female from the ALP benches was a tie between Emma Husar and Terri Butler with 21 apiece.

An interesting data point: When Emma Husar initially reached 21-suspensions on the 19th June 2018, her colleague Julian Hill had only 19-suspensions. I suspect if Emma didn’t get caught up in an internal investigation, she may have been the most suspended member for this Parliament.

Now to that election…

Data Sources

  1. Parliament of Australia. House Hansard. Accessed 12th April 2019.
  2. Parliament of Australia. Hon Tony Smith MP (Image). Accessed 12th April 2019.
  3. Parliament of Australia. Mr Julian Hill, MP (Image). Accessed 12th April 2019
  4. Parliament of Australia. Ms Emma Husar (Image). Accessed 12th April 2019

Australian Parliament Suspensions by the Speaker 1996 – 2019

A quick-fire chart this week but notable because Scott Morrison has just called the election for the 18th May 2019.


The Member for Casey, Tony Smith who has acted in the role of the Speaker since 10th August 2015 has quietly delivered the most suspensions since the inception of the 94(a) rule. He has averaged 2.5 suspensions per sitting day.

It will take me a couple of days to work though the 45th Parliament data. Questions that will be answered will include who was the most suspended Parliamentarian on both sides of the house.


Data Sources

  1. Parliament of Australia. House Hansard. Accessed 11th April 2019.

44th Parliament of Australia Suspensions (Hon Bronwyn Bishop MP vs. Hon Tony Smith MP)

As the 45th Parliament comes to an end I was reflecting on what a good job the Honourable Tony Smith MP has done as Speaker of the House of Representatives. Before I could look at the current Parliament I thought it might be worthwhile finalising my data from the previous 44th Parliament (Nov 2013 – May 2016).



Here’s a look at the Top 12 MPs who were suspended according to standing order 94(a) during the 44th Parliament.


The Member for Wakefield, Nick Champion finished the 44th Parliament with the most suspensions (70). He beat his colleague, the Member for Moreton, Graham Perrett (55) with the former Attorney General, Mark Dreyfus coming third (36). The woman most often suspended was the Member for Griffith, Terri Butler with 34 suspensions.

Now to crunch that 45th Parliament data…

Data Sources

  1. Parliament of Australia. House Hansard. Accessed 2-3rd April 2019.
  2. Parliament of Australia. Mr Nick Champion MP (Image). Accessed 4th April 2019.
  3. Parliament of Australia. Ms Terri Butler MP (Image). Accessed 4th April 2019.
  4. Wikipedia. Bronwyn Bishop (Image). Accessed 3rd April 2019.
  5. Wikipedia. Tony Smith (Victorian politician) (Image). Accessed 3rd April 2019.

Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo 4 April – 22 May 2018

The World Health Organisation updated its Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo Disease Outbreak News on Wednesday with numbers to Tuesday. The DR Congo Ministry of Health updated its numbers today with data to Wednesday presenting some new numbers including the invalidation of eight previously reported community deaths which occurred pre-outbreak.

Ian Mackay has broken down the numbers for us in an easy tweet. They are:

#Ebola numbers for 22MAY2018 from DRC MOH…

  • total: 58 (+0 from last report)
  • confirmed: 30 (+2)
  • suspect: 14 (+5)
  • probable: 14 (-7)
  • fatal: 22 (38%; -5)
  • Wangata: 10 (+3 suspect; +2 deaths)
  • Iboko: 24 (+6 suspect)
  • Bikoro: 24 (+3 suspect)

Those numbers in a infographic which details the cases/fatalities by territory (rather than Health Zone). Iboko Health Zone lies within Bikoro Territory:


The World Health Organisation data via its latest Disease Outbreak News. Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo. Excerpt:

On 8 May 2018, the Ministry of Health (MoH) of the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared an outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD). This is the ninth outbreak of Ebola virus disease over the last four decades in the country, with the most recent outbreak occurring in May 2017.

Since the last Disease Outbreak News on 17 May 2018, an additional fourteen cases with four deaths have been reported. On 21 May 2018, eight new suspected cases were reported, including six cases in Iboko Health Zone and two cases in Wangata Health Zone. On 20 May, seven cases (reported previously) in Iboko Health Zone have been confirmed. Recently available information has enabled the classification of some cases to be updated.

As of 21 May 2018, a cumulative total of 58 Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases, including 27 deaths (case fatality rate = 47%), have been reported from three health zones in Equateur Province. The total includes 28 confirmed, 21 probable and 9 suspected cases from the three health zones: Bikoro (n=29; ten confirmed and 19 probable), Iboko (n=22; fourteen confirmed, two probable and six suspected cases) and Wangata (n=7; four confirmed and three suspected case). Of the four confirmed cases in Wangata, two have an epidemiological link with a probable case in Bikoro from April 2018. As of 21 May, over 600 contacts have been identified and are being followed-up and monitored field investigations are ongoing to determine the index case. Three health care workers were among the 58 cases reported.

Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo 4 April – 15 May 2018

The World Health Organisation has updated its Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo Disease Outbreak News which include Epidemic Curve chart and a map illustrating the Health Zones impacted.

Currently there are 40-cases in Bikoro Territory (2-confirmed, 20-probable & 18-suspect) and I’ve assumed that all 23 reported fatalities have occurred in that territory based on the most recent reporting although this has not been confirmed by the WHO in this update.

Note: If all the 23 fatalities have occurred in Bikoro Territory that puts the CFR at 57.5%. However, if all the fatalities have occurred in the smaller Bikoro Health Zone the CFR then spikes to 65.7%. There have also been four cases reported in Wangata Territory including two brothers who travelled to Bikoro for a wedding. This places those four within the environs of Mbandaka, a city of 1.2 to 1.5-million.

WHO are also reporting three Health Care Workers among the 44 infected without providing any further information.

All the cases to date have occurred in Equateur Province which is represented in the infographic below:


The World Health Organisation data via Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo. Excerpt:

Since the last Disease Outbreak News on 14 May 2018, an additional five cases, including one laboratory-confirmed case from the city of Mbandaka, Wangata health zone, have been notified by the country’s Ministry of Health. Wangata health zone is one of three health zones in Mbandaka City, which has a population of approximately 1.5 million people. Recently available information has enabled the classification of some cases to be updated1.

From 4 April through 15 May 2018, a cumulative total of 44 Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases including 23 deaths (CFR = 52%) have been reported from three health zones in Equateur Province. The total includes three confirmed, 20 probable and 21 suspected cases from the three health zones, Bikoro (n=35; two confirmed, 18 probable and 15 suspected cases), Iboko (n=5; two probable and three suspect cases) and Wangata (n=4; one confirmed, and three suspect cases). Of the four cases in Wangata, two have an epidemiological link with a probable case in Bikoro from April 2018. As of 15 May, 527 contacts have been identified and are being followed-up and monitored. Three health care workers were among the 44 cases reported. Figure 1 shows the date of notification (date of illness onset not yet available for most cases) for 27 cases with available data from 5 May through 15 May 2018. Figure 2 shows the location of cases by health zone.

Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo 4 April – 13 May 2018

The World Health Organization has updated its Disease Outbreak News (DON) on the Ebola outbreak which has data updated to the 13th May 2018. I missed the initial DON but the most recent news is both good and bad. Good in that WHO has immediately ramped up efforts to stem this latest outbreak including deploying the Ebola vaccine but also bad because the two probable cases in the Wangata territory are on the outskirts of a large population centre (Mbandaka – population 1.2-million).

The DON breaks down the cases by Health Zones. Currently those cases listed in Bikoro and Ikoko Health Zones lie within Bikoro Territory while the Wangata Territory encompasses the city of Mbandaka and surrounds. The Case Fatality Rate for Bikoro Territory is 51.3%. All the cases so far have occurred in Equateur Province. Infographic below:


The data for this infographic was supplied by the World Health Organization via Disease Outbreak News 14 May 2018 – Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo. Excerpt:

Since the publication of the first Disease Outbreak News on the Ebola outbreak in Equateur province, Democratic Republic of the Congo on 10 May 2018, an additional seven suspected cases have been notified by the country’s Ministry of Health. Importantly, since the last update, cases have been reviewed and reclassified, and some discarded.

From 4 April through 13 May 2018, a total of 39 Ebola virus disease cases have been reported, including 19 deaths (case fatality rate = 49%) and three health care workers. Cases were reported from the Bikoro health zone (n=29; two confirmed, 20 probable and 7 suspected cases), Iboko health zone (n=8; three probable and five suspected cases) and Wangata health zone (n=2; two probable cases). To date, 393 contacts have been identified and are being followed-up. Wangata health zone is adjacent to the provincial port city of Mbandaka (population 1.2 million). Response teams on the ground are in the process of verifying information on reported cases. Case numbers will be revised as further information becomes available.

Random Analytica: Centrelink Call Wait Times 2006 – 2017

It seems almost heretical now but just a decade ago you could call Centrelink and get your phone answered in less than 2 ½-minutes (*most of the time). In fact, data collected by Centrelink in 2006-2007 showed that the average wait time of callers was just 1-minute and 50-seconds and that 71.6% of all calls were answered in the first 150-seconds.

Then something happened in 2008 to the way Centrelink reported its data.

Centrelink felt that it was so good at answering your calls within a few minutes it abandoned its Average Speed of Answer (ASA) reporting metric and amended its Call Answered from 150-second to 180-seconds.

For those too young to remember back in 2007 the iPhone only came on the scene in June 2007, so most people would call a government department via a landline (sometimes sneakily from work) or go to visit the relevant Government department and talk to a real person in their lunch-hour or on their day-off, especially if they worked part-time.

How did that work out for Centrelink?


The funky Calls Answered in 180-seconds metric was abandoned just one year after it was implemented and the Department of Human Services completely abandoned the 150-seconds metric from 2010/11. I suspect when more than 50% of calls don’t get answered within that timeframe you either need to review your service model OR you change your metric.

In the meantime the Average Speed of Answer (ASA) wait time blew-out from 1-minute and 50-seconds in 2007 to 15-minutes and 44-seconds in 2017. That’s an official 8.5x increase!

I’m sceptical about the Department answering a call within 16-minutes.

I had to ring Centrelink today. Everyone I talked too who has to deal with the Department told me to ring early but be prepared to wait a long-time.

I rang early (8.05am) and I was prepared to wait putting aside contract work for the express purpose of updating my details.

My call was answered an hour later (plenty of time to do the above chart)…


Random Analytica: Sandpapergate – The Fallout

The fallout from #SandpaperGate continues for Cricket Australia, Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft. Just days after Bancroft used sandpaper to scuff the ball at Cape Town the three cricketers who have been identified as the main contributors in the controversy have been given long playing bans, while Smith and Warner have both been cut from their respective IPL teams. The employment income alone can now be calculated in the millions.

Cricket Australia and the individual players are also becoming sponsorship persona non grata.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has written a piece outlining the main details of the ongoing sponsorship fallout. Magellan tears up sponsorship deal with Cricket Australia over ball-tampering scandal. Excerpt:

Wealth-management company Magellan has terminated its three-year sponsorship agreement with Cricket Australia in response to the ball-tampering scandal.

The naming rights sponsorship of the men’s national cricket team’s domestic series, estimated by the Australian Financial Review to be worth $20 million, only started ahead of last summer’s Ashes Test series and was supposed to run for two more seasons.

Magellan’s co-founder and chief executive Hamish Douglass said the ball-tampering in South Africa was “so inconsistent with our values that we are left with no option but to terminate our ongoing partnership with Cricket Australia”.

In my finance life I have had the opportunity to meet Hamish and although I don’t know him well he is a much respected figure in the Wealth Management community and he would be horrified by the behaviour of the Australia Cricketers. I suspect when he returns to our shores to discuss his companies investments he will be answering more cricket questions than anything else.

Then there are the TV rights. ESPN have detailed the ongoing fallout for James Sutherland including the next five-year media rights deal with Channel 9 which was worth $500 million AUD in 2013 but might be worth a lot less than expected after this week. Sutherland flies home into mounting chaos. Excerpt:

Still more damaging was the revelation that Channel Nine, the prime broadcaster of cricket in Australia for more than 40 years, had signed a new deal to cover the summer of tennis up to and including the high-rating Australian Open. In the wake of the announcement, Sutherland received assurances from the Nine chief executive Hugh Marks that the network was still very much interested in the rights to cricket, but there were several factors to be digested.

Marks has previously made no secret of the fact that he does not see the need for Nine to maintain the umbilical connection to cricket that his predecessors David Gyngell and David Leckie, in particular, maintained either side of the death of Kerry Packer in 2005. There have also been strong indications that Nine does not wish to again pay the AUD 500 million price tag CA slapped on its international summer of cricket in 2013.

Here is an infographic to highlight the sponsorship fallout (updated to Thursday 29th March) with thanks to Michael Janda for the idea.