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Accelerating Research and Progress in maternal And Newborn health: A Centre for Research Excellence (ARPAN CRE)

A unique collaborative network improving outcomes for women and newborns by strengthening reproductive, maternal and newborn research across the Asia-Pacific region.

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Despite many global improvements in health care, maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity rates remain high, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Many Asia-Pacific countries will not meet their 2030 targets for reducing maternal and newborn deaths and stillbirths. 

ARPAN CRE will address the major gaps across the Asia-Pacific region to improve outcomes for women and newborns: These gaps include:

  • Lack of a regional approach to monitoring quality of care using harmonised data, especially in the intrapartum and early neonatal period, that can be easily used to drive local improvements in maternal and newborn care service delivery
  • The need for feasible and context-appropriate interventions to address preventable stillbirth
  • The need for novel, acceptable and cost-effective models of care that can improve women’s access and use of postpartum contraception.
  • A need to improve critical elements of quality of care including implementing global recommendations for antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care and ensuring systems and processes for maternal and perinatal death surveillance and response are functional


The ARPAN CRE builds on greater than 20 years of our team’s collective efforts that have generated real improvements in women and newborn health in the Asia-Pacific region and other LMICs.

The Centre brings together researchers, clinicians, policymakers and parent advocates from across the region to identify problems, co-create solutions and strengthen local research and translational capacity. We will build on our existing strong linkages with key organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, WHO Collaborating Centres in India, Thailand and Australia, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), global professional associations, consumer and advocacy organisations and the NHMRC Stillbirth Centre for Research Excellence. Together we will address the region’s major maternal and newborn health priorities and help reach SDG targets.

This unique collaborative network will improve outcomes by strengthening reproductive, maternal and newborn research and facilitating implementation of guidelines across the Asia-Pacific region. We will create new knowledge, evidence, and partnerships to reduce preventable maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality and stillbirth.

220916 Caroline Homer Minbutlervisit 510X288 (1)

Professor Caroline Homer

Contact Professor Caroline Homer for more information about this project. 



  • National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centres of Research Excellence

Partners +

  • Khon Kaen University (Professor Pisake Lumbiganon, Associate Professor Porjai Pattanittum, Associate Professor Kiattisak Kongwattanakul)
  • KLE Academy of Higher Education and Research (Professor Shivaprasad Goudar, Professor Yeshita Pujar, Professor Manjunath Somannavar)
  • PNG Institute for Medical Research (Professor William Pomat, Dr Lisa Vallely, Dr John Bolnga)
  • The University of Melbourne (Associate Professor Meghan Bohren)
  • The University of Queensland
  • The University of Sydney (Professor Kirsten Black, Professor Adrienne Gordon)
  • Stillbirth Centre for Research Excellence (Professor Adrienne Gordon, Dr Billie Bradford)
  • The University of NSW (Dr Lisa Vallely)
  • The Kirby Institute (Dr Lisa Vallely)
  • The International Stillbirth Alliance (Dr Susannah Leisher, Dr Billie Bradford)
  • World Health Organisation (Ms Anayda Portela)
  • United Nations Population Fund – Bangkok (Ms Catherine Breen Kamkong)
  • United Nations Population Fund – Fiji (Dr Titilola Duro-Aina)
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College (Professor Yeshita Pujar, Professor Manjunath Somannavar)
  • Modillon Hospital, Madang province (Dr John Bolnga)