On Mother's Day 2020, prioritising the health of mothers and babies

Burnet Institute

10 May, 2020

In a world transformed by COVID-19, Burnet Institute researchers are working on a raft of new projects to prioritise the health and welfare of mothers and their babies during the pandemic.

Among them is an exciting initiative conceived and developed by the Global Women’s and Newborn’s Health team, led by Professor Caroline Homer AO, and Associate Professor Joshua Vogel.

It’s a living database with the latest national and international guidance for managing women in pregnancy or giving birth during the pandemic, including guidelines for the treatment of pregnant women with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

“We’re in a very fast-moving situation, and every day there’s new evidence emerging on how COVID-19 affects sex, pregnancy, childbirth and newborns,” Associate Professor Vogel said.

“In this stage of the pandemic there’s a lot of confusion and sometimes a lot of disagreement, and it’s important that people have access to the most up-to-date resources.

Image: Associate Professor Joshua Vogel (right) at Paparatava Health Centre, Papua New Guinea, with colleagues Sister Rosemary, and Dr Alyce Wilson

“We’ve acted in response to requests from clinical communities in Australia and internationally to try to understand and collate all these resources to help clinicians to respond flexibly to rapid changes in the public health emergency.”

The guidelines are meticulously maintained by the Global Women’s and Newborn’s Health team, and currently include links to more than 80 policies and directives issued by Australian Health Departments, international organisations including UNFPA and WHO, and national organisations from around the world.

“It provides an excellent resource for countries where they don’t have the same capacity to respond quickly to changing recommendations and changing evidence, particularly those in our near Pacific region,” Associate Professor Vogel said.

“It’s a living database that is being updated in real-time as international resources change to ensure the best outcomes for pregnant women and newborns.”

According to the latest United Nations' global estimates, 303,000 women a year die in childbirth or as a result of complications arising from pregnancy.

That’s roughly one every two minutes, or 830 women dying each day, including today, Mother’s Day 2020.

Find out more about Burnet’s Global Women’s and Newborn’s Health Group, and how you can support their life-saving work.

Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Associate Professor Joshua Vogel

Principal Research Fellow




[email protected]

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