Understanding the gaps in Maternal and Newborn Health (MNH) in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea

Project Details

High maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality in many countries in the East Asia and Pacific region is a key area of concern, where approximately 174,534  babies and 21,000 women are dying during pregnancy and childbirth. Most of these deaths are preventable.

In the Philippines and Papua New Guinea (PNG), progress in reducing maternal mortality and enhancing neonatal health has come to a standstill, further exacerbated by the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognising and addressing the health systems gaps related to MNH is of paramount importance to prepare countries for prospective national or global emergencies, including outbreaks and pandemics.

This research project aims to establish a comprehensive understanding of the MNH situation in the Philippines and PNG at both the national and subnational levels and including interventions or approaches that make a difference. Working in close collaboration with the UNICEF regional and country offices as well as government counterparts, our goal is to identify health system gaps, highlight best practices, showcase innovative strategies and draw from lessons learned to contribute to the improvement of maternal and newborn health. We will formulate tailored recommendations specific to each country’s context, thereby, ensuring better preparedness for future national or global emergencies.


Dr Shazra Abbas

Ms Sarah Simpson

Ms Sonja Firth

Dr Daniel Strachan


This project is funded by UNICEF EAPRO

Research Group

Social & Cultural Dimensions of Health Systems

School Research Themes

Disparities, disadvantage and effective health care

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Nossal Institute for Global Health

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