BSP Supports the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Program

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Laboratory Technician Ruth Fidelis (R) and Research Officer Priscah Hezeri at work in the Healthy, Mothers, Healthy Babies laboratory in Kokopo

Port Moresby, 6th June, 2017 | There is a high rate of serious preventable health conditions such as anaemia, malnutrition, malaria, and others among mothers and babies.

This is according to preliminary analysis of research data collected by Burnet Institute’s Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies (HMHB) Program.

More than 5,000 newborns die each year in PNG, and another 7,000 won’t survive to their fifth birthday, yet two-thirds of these deaths could be prevented with basic but effective interventions.

HMHB is a five-year research program which will identify the main reasons why PNG has one of the highest maternal and newborn mortality rates in the world and identify and test ways to reduce this.

Bank South Pacific (BSP) has continued its support of Burnet Institute’s HMHB Program with a sponsorship of K250,000 this year as part of a three-year contract.

Mothers and their babies wait to be seen at health clinic in East New Britain

Burnet Institute Director and CEO, Professor Brendan Crabb said, “We acknowledge the continued support that BSP provides. The program is also aimed to promote training and development of local Papua New Guinean staff in the health sector by building their capacity and experience in maternal and child health.”

BSP’s General Manager – Retail, Paul Thornton said, “The bank recognises the significant health issues faced by many women in PNG. We acknowledge the work that Burnet Institute and its partners do in the community through the critically important Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Program.”

“We know that through this financial commitment, the Bank is able to contribute to positive change in the people and communities that we operate in,” Mr Thornton added.

“This support to women and children is also in line with our 2017 Community Projects theme which is ‘Empowering Women and Children’. The Bank is currently implementing in various communities through its respective Branches, Business Units and Subsidiaries, projects that will benefit women and children such as schools and health projects.”

Proud mother and new baby at clinic for a health check



ABOUT BURNETT INSTITUTES “Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Program

HMHB is a philanthropically-funded research program is based in Kokopo, East New Britain Province and brings together partners from PNGIMR, UPNG, NDoH and representatives at district, provincial and national level.

The HMHB program aims to define the major causes of poor maternal, newborn, and child health, and to identify feasible, acceptable and effective interventions and service delivery strategies to improve reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child health (RMNCH) outcomes in PNG. The three major needs to be addressed are:

  • Developing and testing better ways to provide interventions of proven effectiveness to communities that currently lack access
  • Defining the major disease burdens that contribute to maternal and infant mortality, such as anaemia, malaria, TB, STIs, malnutrition, and maternal complications of childbirth
  • Developing new and more effective interventions to improve maternal and child health.

A number of milestones in the HMHB study have now been reached;

  • The program now has 700 women enrolled and over 400 women have been followed up through to delivery of their infant
  • Over the course of the program, the team in Kokopo, ENB have performed hundreds of health checks on mothers and their new born. This includes home visits.
  • The Team has doubled in size over the past year as activities continue to increase. The Local Kokopo-based team comprises of nine Research Officers who recruit, interview and take biological specimen from mothers and babies. Two laboratory staff, three drivers, one database manager and three project management staff.

BSP has committed K750,000 to be paid over a three year contract. The first sponsorship of K250,000  was made in 2016. This is the 2nd part of sponsorship payment.


Bank South Pacific (BSP) is an iconic and unique bank in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific, recognised for its strong commitment to the region.  We are a major commercial banking and finance group with assets of approximately PGK20.8 billion.

BSP has the largest branch network in Papua New Guinea, Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu with sub branches and agents in rural locations. The BSP Group employs 4000+ people across the Pacific and proudly supports the communities that we operate in, through Community Projects, Sports, Education, Health, Culture and Financial Literacy.

Our branch network is complemented by electronic banking networks that can meet the banking needs of all customers wherever we operate.

  • 70+ Branches
  • 13 Premium Service Centres
  • 50+ Sub Branches
  • 350+ Agents
  • 500 ATMs
  • 11,000+ EFTPoS