HMHB attracts Principal Supporter

Angus Morgan

20 April, 2016

Burnet Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb presented with a cheque for PGK 250,000 by BSP GM Retail Banking, Mr Paul Thornton

Burnet Institute’s Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies (HMHB) program to address the appalling rate of death and disease among women and children in Papua New Guinea (PNG), has a new Principal Supporter in Bank South Pacific (BSP).

BSP has generously pledged PGK 250,000 per-year over three years towards HMHB, Burnet’s five-year research program, which aims to arrest a maternal mortality rate in PNG that’s 80 times worse than Australia’s.

More than 5000 newborns die each year in PNG, and another 7000 won’t survive to their fifth birthday, yet two-thirds of these deaths could be prevented with basic but effective interventions.

“Our decision to support Burnet Institute’s Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies program is simple - to help reduce the high maternal mortality rate in PNG which is one of the highest in the world and at the same time improve the child mortality and health rate in PNG,” BSP GM Retail Banking, Mr Paul Thornton said.

“BSP appreciates the great efforts by Burnet Institute in PNG over the years in conducting vital research programs that benefit the people, therefore is proud to be associated with the Institute in strengthening its good work.

“Our children are our future and by improving their lives and that of any woman, we’re building a healthy and stronger community that will ultimately contribute to the development of the country.”

HMHB is a philanthropically funded research program, which aims to define and address the causes of poor maternal, newborn and child health, by developing and testing effective interventions in partnership with local representatives at district, provincial and national level.

Burnet Institute Director and CEO, Professor Brendan Crabb AC said BSP has made a significant and welcome investment in the health and welfare of PNG’s most precious resource.

“The issue of maternal mortality, maternal health and child health is not a health issue, it’s a social issue and a development issue,” Professor Crabb said.

“The need for evidence-based approaches is critical, and I’m confident that Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies, even more so now with the outstanding support of Bank South Pacific, will inspire and assist enormously.

“Bank South Pacific understands the need for a program like HMHB and the potential benefits, and its generous support is warmly appreciated.”

HMHB includes five separate but complementary studies to provide a complete overview of the issues being faced, with the first research program now underway in Kokopo, East New Britain.

The emphasis is on the generation of evidence that has immediate use in East New Britain to improve services, and that can inform future health policy in PNG and similar settings.

Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies is a partnership between Burnet Institute, PNG Institute for Medical Research, University of PNG, East New Britain Provincial Government, and the PNG National Department of Health, as well as health services in East New Britain (St Mary’s Hospital, Vunapope, Nonga Provincial Hospital, Keravat Rural Hospital, and Paparatava and Napapar Health Centres).

Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Professor Brendan Crabb AC

Director and CEO; Co-Head Malaria Research Laboratory; Chair, Victorian Chapter of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI)




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