Achieving greater equity in maternal and child health particularly in resource-poor and high-risk communities in our region, requires an urgent need to develop and promote new strategies, tools and policies.
Women and children continue to die and suffer significant illness from preventable causes. Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies is a collaborative research program aimed at providing life-saving health care for women and children in Papua New Guinea, where the rate of maternal and child death is staggeringly high. Tragically, more than 5000 babies die in their first year of life.
Burnet is also 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, vaccinations, management of childhood illnesses and nutrition.
Through the Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health program Burnet is committing to making a major contribution to:
- Improving reproductive health, with a focus on pre-conception health
- Reducing maternal and newborn mortality, and prevention of other adverse pregnancy outcomes
- Reducing preventable causes of morbidity and mortality of children, and optimising growth and development
- 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, through education and training in Australia and globally.
Addressing the unmet health needs of adolescent health globally, with a focus on sexual and reproductive health needs and rights.
Young people are central to ensuring health equity for all, but they experience a large and preventable burden of poor health. Despite sexual and reproductive health and rights being a traditional focus of adolescent programming, there remains much to be done. There is also a need to address issues of emerging importance – particularly poor mental health, non-communicable disease and injury.
We are developing, testing and implementing evidence-based tools and interventions to:
- Better understand the health needs of adolescents - and how to address these in challenging settings.
- Improve the quality of data for young people, through developing novel methods for data collection and sampling to assess key areas of need.
- Define better indicators and data – at global and country level - to inform responsive policy and programming and ensure accountability.
- Strengthen primary health care for adolescents by making health services more accessible and building the capabilities and competencies of health care providers.
- Reduce the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections and their health impact.
- Improve the nutrition of adolescent girls.