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Rural + Remote Communities

Rural and remote communities often have limited access to health care and experience poorer health outcomes than their urban counterparts. We undertake research and community-based programs to improve the health of rural and remote communities, as well as increase the evidence base for policy and program development.  

Through research and health initiatives in rural and remote communities, we aim to address a range of global health issues – many of which are preventable. 

Much of Burnet’s work focusses on Papua New Guinea (PNG), where there are significant health disparities between rural and urban communities and access to health services is extremely difficult for people living in regional areas. We are working to address PNG’s most critical health issues including high rates of HIV infection, vaccine-preventable diseases, and maternal and child mortality.   

Within Australia, our research efforts focus on understanding patterns of alcohol, tobacco and cannabis use and related harm in regional and remote areas.

To strengthen our work in PNG, we have an MOU with the University of Papua New Guinea School of Medicine and Health Sciences. The MOU outlines locating Burnet’s Port Moresby office on the University’s campus, supporting the Public Health Program of the School and developing joint research activities.

Our projects in PNG have included:

  • managing the AusAID-funded Tingim Laip HIV prevention project, which was completed in 2010.
  • national in-service training on women’s and children’s health maternal and child health projects in remote areas along the Sepik River
  • improving responses to vaccine preventable diseases
  • a rapid assessment and response investigating the links between drugs, alcohol and HIV.

We also work across the Indo-Pacific region more broadly, and in Africa, to conduct social and clinical research that informs policy development and implement community-based programs that address global health issues.