Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Mr Peter O'Neill and Professor Brendan Crabb
The Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies (HMHB) program was top of the agenda at a meeting between Burnet Institute Director and CEO, Professor Brendan Crabb and Papua New Guinea (PNG) Prime Minister, Mr Peter O’Neill, in Port Moresby on Tuesday.
In PNG to visit the HMHB project office in Kokopo, East New Britain, Professor Crabb said he was pleased with the opportunity to meet with Prime Minister O’Neill to discuss HMHB among other key health issues.
“In being so generous in meeting with me, and from the conversation we had, it is clear that improvements to the health of Papua New Guineans is front of mind for the Prime Minister,” Professor Crabb said.
“It was wonderful to get his insights into both the immediate and longer term needs for improving health in the country.
“We greatly appreciated the opportunity to put our own views forward and especially to have the opportunity to discuss how the PNG Government can continue to support the HMHB program."
Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies is a five-year effort aimed at providing life-saving health care for women and children through operational and implementation research in PNG.
The maternal mortality rate in PNG is one of the highest in the world and 80 times worse than in Australia.
More than 5000 newborns die each year, yet two-thirds of these deaths could be prevented with basic but effective interventions.
“HMHB is possibly the most exciting and important initiative that this institute has been involved in,” Professor Crabb said.
“It is a long-term program being carried out with many partners in PNG, including the national and provincial governments.
“It was wonderful to have the Prime Minister now fully aware of the program and we look forward to working with both him and the national government for many years to come to help improve the outcome for mothers in childbirth and for their newborn babies."