Publications & Reports

Improving maternal and newborn health and reducing stillbirths in the Western Pacific Region - current situation and the way forward.

Vallely LM, Calvert B, De Silva M, Panisi L, Babona D, Bolnga J, Duro-Aina T, Noovao-Hill A, Naidu S, Leisher S, Flenady V, Smith RM, Vogel JP, Homer CSE
Global Health Program, Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.


Despite positive trends in many indicators, there remains an unacceptable burden of preventable maternal, newborn deaths and stillbirths every year. This paper provides an overview of the maternal and perinatal outcomes across 22 Pacific Island Countries and Territories, including Papua New Guinea. We highlight some unique challenges and provide examples of initiatives in three of the larger countries to contribute to safer childbirth. There are high maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality rates in many of the countries, although reliable data are limited. There are currently no data relating to the burden of intrapartum-related maternal and perinatal morbidity or stillbirth or the quality of intrapartum care. Varying definitions across countries for perinatal indicators mean that meaningful comparisons are difficult and unreliable. There is need for midwives and other maternal and newborn health providers to improve maternal and newborn indicators as countries advance towards the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Link to publisher’s web site


  • Journal: The Lancet Regional Health. Western Pacific
  • Published: 01/03/2023
  • Volume: 32
  • Pagination: 100653