The largest nation in the Pacific, PNG is classified as a low middle-income country. Close to 90 percent of the population live in rural areas and access to these widely scattered communities is often difficult, slow and expensive. Violence against women and achieving gender equality remain major challenges. The country is a signatory to the World Health Organization’s Millennium Development Declaration.
The major health problems currently affecting PNG according to the World Health Organization are:
Communicable diseases, with malaria, tuberculosis, diarrhoeal diseases, and acute respiratory disease the major causes of morbidity and mortality.
A generalised HIV epidemic driven mainly by heterosexual transmission.
Rates of infant and child mortality are high compared to other countries in the Asia Pacific region.
Maternal mortality remains very high
For more than a decade, Burnet has addressed some of PNG’s critical health problems by implementing community-based programs using international development and public health principles. We have also undertaken social and clinical research, supporting the development of an improved evidence base to inform policy development.
Partnering with both government and non-government health agencies and regional research networks, we have focused on major health issues such as HIV, alcohol and other drugs use, sexual health, malaria, measles, birth dose vaccines, and maternal and child health. With our extensive experience in the field, Burnet has forged a strong understanding of the diversity and complexity of health programming in PNG.
In September 2012, Institute Director and CEO, Professor Brendan Crabb signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Papua New Guinea’s Dean of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Professor Sir Isi Kevau.
The MOU outlined locating the Institute’s Port Moresby office on the University’s campus, supporting the Public Health Program of the School and developing joint research activities.
“This MOU reflects our commitment to work closely with key local partners in PNG to help address some of the country’s most critical health issues,” Professor Crabb said.
Burnet’s head office in PNG is based in Kokopo, East New Britain.
Burnet completed its management of the AusAID-funded Tingim Laip HIV prevention project in 2010.
Our staff has also delivered:
- 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 in PNG.
- Accelerating access to postnatal care and chlorhexidine in PNG
Scaling-up implementation and education relating to the postnatal period and introducing chlorhexidine for use by families.
- Access Point Of Care Initiative
Increasing access to life-saving treatments for infectious diseases through point-of-care tests.
- ACORN Nutrition Project - PNG
A program to identify and address key determinants of child undernutrition in PNG.
- ANCP Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies
The sustainability and expansion phase of the ANCP Healthy Mothers, Health Babies project.
- Australia Awards Fellowship: KICK-AMR to Address Antimicrobial Resistance
Strengthening response to antimicrobial resistance and health security in the Pacific.
- Burnet Microbiome Initiative
Pilot study to characterise the vaginal microbiome in women from the HMHB cohort.
- Clinical studies on malaria
The negative consequences of malaria and how to prevent them in children and pregnant women.
- Demonstrating the impact of next generation Cepheid tools in TB
GeneXpert Ultra and GeneXpert Omni for the diagnosis of tuberculosis at the microscopy centre level: PNG
- Discovering the mechanisms and targets of immunity against malaria
Identifying the key targets of protective immunity in people who live in malaria-endemic regions.
- East New Britain Sexual Health Improvement Project
This project aims to improve engagement in prevention of STIs and improve STI service delivery.
- Engaging men to improve family health and prevent gender-based violence
ANCP project to contribute to the improvement of the health of men, their families and communities.
- Evaluating a highly sensitive rapid malaria diagnostic in PNG
HS-RDT MiP in PNG: Testing performance of a novel high sensitivity rapid diagnostic malaria test in pregnant women.
- Gender Counts
A quantitative assessment of gender inequality and its impacts on children and adolescents in Asia and the Pacific.
- Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies
A collaborative research program aimed at providing life-saving health care for women and children in PNG.
- HHISP: Strengthening Papua New Guinea health systems
Burnet is a partner in the Health and HIV Implementation Services Provider (HHISP).
- HMHB - Health Services for Postnatal and Infancy Care
Focuses on services during postnatal period and through the first 12 months in East New Britain, PNG.
- HMHB: The impact of nutrition, malaria and STIs on pregnant women and infants
Determining the major preventable causes of poor maternal health and low birth weight of babies in PNG.
- IgG subclasses and immunity to malaria
This project focuses on the importance of antibody subclass for immunity malaria.
- Immunity to malaria and infectious diseases during pregnancy
How are pregnant women affected by infectious diseases such as malaria?
- Improved point-of-care test to eliminate congenital syphilis
Optimising and validating an innovative test to enable immediate treatment at the point of care.
- Iron deficiency anaemia and adverse birth outcomes in a malaria-endemic region of Papua New Guinea
What is the prevalence of iron deficiency anaemia, how is it associated with adverse birth outcomes, and is the association modified by malaria?
- Major advances in understanding malaria immunity and biology
Identifying key targets of immunity, the mechanisms mediating immunity, and how it is acquired.
- Rapid and accurate diagnosis of TB: New trial in PNG
New PNG arm of a randomised control trial to trial new tuberculosis point-of-care technology.
- Scenario analysis for programmatic tuberculosis control in Western Province, Papua New Guinea
Construction of a mathematical model to simulate the TB epidemic in Western Province of PNG, which will be used to inform programmatic responses.
- Sexual and reproductive health in Asia and the Pacific
A review of issues, policies and programmes.
- SRHIP: Sexual & Reproductive Health Integration Project
SRHIP will expand coverage of STI, HIV, SRH within Catholic and Anglican PNG health services.