Research Projects

Five studies will generate evidence that has immediate use in East New Britain.

HMHB Field Site: Kokopo, East New Britain

Burnet’s research team is led by Professor James Beeson, Dr Chris Morgan and Dr Michelle Scoullar.

The collection and analysis of blood and other samples by field workers for infections and nutritional deficiencies is underway. The samples are analysed at Burnet’s special HMHB laboratory in the St Mary’s Hospital grounds in Kokopo.

The team is working in partnership with five of the busiest health facilities in the Province, two urban hospitals and three rural facilities, that deliver more than 6000 babies every year. They include St Mary’s Hospital, Nonga General Hospital, Napapar Health Centre, Paparatava Health Centre and Keravat Rural Hospital.

Image: Blood and other samples from pregnant mums and their babies are being analysed in the Kokopo lab.

Our Research Studies

Five separate but complementary studies will generate evidence that has immediate use in East New Britain to improve services, and that can inform future health policy in PNG and similar settings.

Image: Study 1 major milestone with the last mother/baby follow-up visit - (L-R) Ms Primrose Homiehombo, Dr Chris Morgan, Ms Rose Suruka and Ms Pele Melepia.

STUDY 1 -Mothers and Babies Follow-up Study

More than 700 pregnant women are being recruited for the study, from their first antenatal clinic attendance, and then follow-up mother and baby to 12 months after birth. This study aims to identify and quantify major preventable causes of low birth weight and poor infant growth, and define health care utilisation and access. illness in mothers, newborns and infants attending health care facilities, and the relationship of illness in pregnancy to predicting poor pregnancy outcomes for mother and infant, and poor infant growth and development.

STUDY 2 - Health Services for Postnatal and Infancy Care Study

Evaluating reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child health services, and identify strategies to improve services aimed at reducing sickness and death.

Image: Sister Rosemary, Dr Joshua Vogel and Professor Caroline Homer at Paparatava Health Centre, ENB.

STUDY 2B - Quality of Pregnancy, Childbirth and Newborn Health Services Study

The ‘Gutpela Sevis’ study uses a participatory, partnership defined approach to improve maternal and newborn care in East New Britain.

Community-based Study 

Determine access to maternal, newborn and child health care services, and identify the major barriers to accessing these health services.

Young People’s Study

Determine sexual and reproductive health knowledge, attitudes, practices and outcomes among young people to enable the development of interventions to improve health.

Impact & Implementation Modelling

Develop and optimise strategies to implement effective interventions to achieve the greatest health benefits.

Contact Details

Professor James Beeson

MBBS, BMedSc, PhD, FAFPHM, FAAHMS | Deputy Director (People); Head of Malaria Immunity and Vaccines Laboratory; Adjunct Professor Monash University