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Children + Newborns

Preventable newborn and child deaths remain very high in some parts of the world. In Papua New Guinea, two-thirds of newborn deaths could be prevented. Our life-saving research includes developing effective interventions to improve maternal and child health and understanding the impact of disease on maternal and infant mortality.

We aim to improve child health equity, with a strong focus on resource-poor and high-risk communities in our region.

By working with communities, we aim to improve understanding and better address the underlying factors that prevent access to crucial health care services such as family planning, postnatal and newborn care, vaccinations, and management of childhood illnesses and nutrition.

A priority aim of our work is to improve maternal and child health outcomes for women and children in Papua New Guinea, where the rate of maternal and child death is staggeringly high. Tragically, more than 5000 babies die before they are one year old. Another 7000 children don’t reach their fifth birthday. Two-thirds of these newborn deaths could be prevented with effective interventions. Our work aims to save these lives.

Our goals are:

  • Reducing maternal and newborn mortality, and preventing other adverse pregnancy outcomes
  • Reducing preventable causes of morbidity and mortality of children, and optimising child health, growth and development
  • Advancing gender equality, and prevention of gender-based violence.

Supported by collaboration with many local communities, we work in Australia and globally to:

  • increase the capacity of health professionals, researchers, policy makers and the general community in maternal and child health, through education and training 
  • raise awareness of the need for, and guide, new innovations for maternal and pregnancy related problems
  • develop new and more effective interventions to improve maternal and child health
  • develop and test better ways to provide interventions to communities that lack access to them
  • grow understanding of major disease burdens that contribute to maternal and infant mortality, such as anaemia, malaria, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted infections, malnutrition, and maternal complications of childbirth
  • Provide life-saving health care.

Our projects include:

  • Accelerating Innovation for Mothers (AIM) 2.0 – a collaborative partnership between Burnet Institute, Concept Foundation and Policy Cures Research to inspire and guide the development of new medicines for obstetric conditions.
  • Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies – A collaborative research program working with district, provincial and national level partners in Papua New Guinea to provide life-saving interventions for women and children.