Maternal, Newborn, Child Health and Nutrition Group

Co-Heads: Ms Lisa Davidson and Dr Chris Morgan.

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Women and children continue to suffer significant illness from preventable causes, particularly in resource-poor settings in our region. Achieving greater equity in maternal and child health in these settings requires an urgent need to develop and promote new strategies, tools and policies.

Burnet is working with many communities to better understand and address the underlying factors that prevent access to crucial health care services such as family planning, postnatal and newborn care, vaccination, management of childhood illness, male engagement and nutrition.

The Maternal, Newborn, Child Health and Nutrition Group contributes to:

  • Improving reproductive health, with a focus on pre-conception health
  • Reducing maternal and newborn mortality, and optimising care during pregnancy, childbirth and postnatally to reduce adverse pregnancy outcomes
  • Reducing preventable causes of morbidity and mortality of children, and optimising growth and development
  • Strengthening equitable coverage of preventive care (including immunisation) and curative care during infancy and childhood
  • Promoting good feeding practices, food security and integration of nutrition initiatives with other health care services
  • Advancement of gender equality, and prevention of gender-based violence
  • Increasing the capacity of health professionals, researchers, policy makers and the general community in maternal and child health, and nutrition, through education and training.


Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies, is a multi-focused collaborative research program aimed at providing life saving health care for women and children in PNG. Current research includes studies on:

  • Health Service for Postnatal and Infancy Care
  • The impact of nutrition, malaria and STIs on pregnant women and infants
  • Immunity to malaria during pregnancy
  • Improved point-of care test to eliminate congenital syphilis.

This program is an excellent example of Burnet’s unique ability to translate research and knowledge into practical and effective solutions that support sustainable and improved health outcomes for some of our most vulnerable populations.