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Healthy Mothers,
Healthy Babies (HMHB)

Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies (HMHB) is a collaborative research program aimed at providing life-saving health care for women and children in Papua New Guinea.

Burnet Institute’s philanthropically funded, collaborative research program, Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies (HMHB) is aimed at providing life-saving research for women and children in PNG.

The HMHB program aims to define the major causes of poor maternal, newborn, and child health, and to identify feasible, acceptable and effective interventions and service delivery strategies to improve reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child health (RMNCH) outcomes in PNG.

There are five program objectives:

  1. Identify and quantify major causes of illness in mothers, newborns and infants attending health care facilities, and the impact of illnesses in pregnancy on poor pregnancy outcomes for mother and infant.
  2. Identify key determinants of current maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) care utilisation, patterns (such as timeliness and completeness) of utilisation through pregnancy and the first year of life, and the predictors of optimal utilisation of health services for MNCH.
  3. Evaluate reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child heath (RMNCH) services and identify strategies to improve services aimed at reducing sickness and death.
  4. Examine sexual and reproductive health knowledge, attitudes, practices and outcomes among young people, and use this knowledge to develop strategies and inform policy development to improve sexual and reproductive health.
  5. Identify strategies to improve RMNCH care, and strengthen disease control and develop new interventions to improve maternal and child health, targeted to populations in PNG with varying levels of access to health services.

HMHB is a philanthropically-funded collaborative research program involving partnering with local representatives at the district, provincial and national level. 

It includes five separate but complementary studies to provide a complete overview of the issues being faced. 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.

The program addresses three major needs:

  • Developing and testing better ways to provide interventions of proven effectiveness to communities that currently lack access.
  • Defining the major disease burdens that contribute to maternal and infant mortality, such as anaemia, malaria, TB, STIs, malnutrition, and maternal complications of childbirth.
  • Developing new and more effective interventions to improve maternal and child health.
Jamesbeeson 002 WEB Resized

Contact James

Deputy Director (People); Head, Malaria Immunity and Vaccines Group; Adjunct Professor, Monash University



Meet the HMHB team. Together, we are translating research into better health, for all.