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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.

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Burnet research being presented at PNG Medical Symposium
08 Sep 2022 News Post
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A year of growth and ambition
18 May 2023 News Post
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A shared vision for the AIID
07 Jun 2023 News Post
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Equity, diversity, and inclusion appointment for Professor Caroline Homer
09 Jun 2023 News Post
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Vale Sir Kostas Constantinou
19 Jun 2023 News Post
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Greater focus needed on anemia interventions in the postpartum period
11 Jul 2023 News Post
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Alastair Lucas Prize and Gust-McKenzie Medal
21 Jul 2023 News Post
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Grand plans for Burnet Travel Awards
28 Jul 2023 News Post
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Burnet researchers receive $5 million in NHMRC grants
26 Sep 2023 News Post
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Improved maternal health outcomes in Burnet modelling for Gates Foundation
27 Sep 2023 News Post
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Professor Josh Vogel - Gust-McKenzie Oration
06 Oct 2023 News Post
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Burnet Travel Awards
06 Jun 2021 News Post
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Women need better long-term care after childbirth
07 Dec 2023 News Post
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'If we have midwives, we will save lives': 2023 Fenner Award recipient, Professor Caroline Homer
14 Dec 2023 News Post
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New plan for PNG immunisation
29 Jan 2020 News Post
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Humanitarian Award to support HMHB
19 Feb 2020 News Post
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New study highlights family planning needs in PNG
28 Jan 2021 News Post
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New STI affecting pregnant women in Papua New Guinea
01 Apr 2021 News Post
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How a friendship with a mum-to-be in PNG opened Margery’s eyes
23 Feb 2021 News Post
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Burnet research driving WHO guidelines on preventing maternal deaths
07 Feb 2024 News Post
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No evidence probiotics offer benefit during pregnancy
27 Mar 2024 News Post
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Championing continuity of care in midwifery
22 Apr 2024 News Post


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Accelerating access to postnatal care and chlorhexidine in PNG
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Burnet Microbiome Initiative: Vaginal microbiome in pregnant women in PNG and impact on birth weight and infant growth
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Optima Nutrition Modelling
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HMHB - Health Services for Postnatal and Infancy Care
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ANCP Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies
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HMHB Quality
HMHB: Quality of Pregnancy, Childbirth and Newborn Health Services Study
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HMHB: The impact of nutrition and infections on health for pregnant women and young children
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Novel Point-of-care Testing for Diagnosis of Active Syphilis in Pregnant Women and Infants in Fiji
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Resilient Adolescents and Integrated Life Skills (RAIL) project, Dawei, Myanmar
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Tools for the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (Kenya, Myanmar and Senegal)
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