Image: (L-R) Australian Opposition Leader The Hon Bill Shorten MP, PNG Prime Minister The Hon Peter O'Neill MP, Burnet Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb AC
Political leaders from Australia and Papua New Guinea (PNG) showed their wholehearted support for Burnet Institute’s Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies program at a special Anzac Day-eve dinner in Port Moresby.
Guests included PNG Prime Minister The Hon Peter O’Neill MP, his wife Lynda Babao, and Australian Opposition leader The Hon Bill Shorten, and his wife and longstanding Burnet supporter, Ms Chloe Bryce Shorten.
Burnet was represented by Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb AC, Board member Associate Professor Helen Evans AO, Patrons Dame Carol Kidu DBE and Sir Kostas Constantinou OBE, and Deputy Program Director (Health Security) Dr Suman Majumdar.
Mr Shorten singled out Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies as the kind of ‘difference-making’ initiative that can help to bridge inequality.
“If more Australians hear that a woman in childbirth in PNG is 80-times more likely to die than an Australian woman, and that 5,000 babies in PNG will die in the first month of life, the moral obligation to do more will become crystal clear,” Mr Shorten said.
Image: (L-R) Ms Chloe Bryce Shorten, The Hon Bill Shorten MP, The Hon Peter O'Neill MP, Professor Brendan Crabb AC, Dame Carol Kidu DBE, Ms Lynda Babao
Professor Crabb said Australia and PNG have a strong collaborative foundation from which to address the challenges of the future, including maternal mortality and newborn health.
“The success stories have all been collaborative efforts led by PNG and involving the Australian Government and agencies like Burnet working together with implementing organisations to deliver solutions,” Professor Crabb said.
“Burnet’s role has been to find out the best ways to deliver new and innovative interventions, developing tests where there were none, or identifying immunisation strategies when the old strategies weren’t working any more.
“We’re incredibly proud of our long history in PNG and the association we have with all our partners, and Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies is a significant next step.”
Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies aims to define the major causes of poor maternal, newborn, and infant health in PNG.
Through research and partnerships, we will identify and implement effective interventions and strategies that dramatically improve the health of women and their newborns.
Find out more about Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies.