Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies in Papua New Guinea – The impact of Nutrition, Malaria and STIs on pregnant women and infants

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Project Status
Medicine and Radiology
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Professor James Beeson Personal web page
Associate Professor Freya Fowkes Personal web page

Project Details

In many resource-poor regions globally, pregnant women experience high rates of malaria, under-nutrition and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) which can lead to maternal morbidity and mortality and in infants, low birth weight (LBW) resulting in a significant number of infant deaths each year. In these settings, LBW is due to fetal growth restriction and preterm delivery.

However the link between nutrition, malaria and STIs and these birth outcomes have yet to be elucidated. At the Burnet Institute, we have initiated a unique research program in rural PNG, called Health Mothers Health Babies, in partnership with the PNG Institute of Medical Research, East New Britain Provincial Goverment, University of PNG, the National Department of Health, and others. We have undertaken a longitudinal study of 700 pregnant women attending antenatal care, and followed them through to delivery. Among these women we will measure markers of nutrition and evaluate micronutrient deficiencies, determine malaria and STIs.

The association of nutrition, malaria, and STIs during pregnancy with respect to birth outcomes will then be assessed using epidemiological techniques. The objective of this project is to determine the major preventable causes of poor maternal health and LBW to enable the development of future interventions to improve health and pregnancy outcomes. This project is offered as a laboratory or epidemiological project, or a combination of the two depending on student interests.

For all queries please contact Arzum,

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes

Research Opportunities

PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Graduate Research Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other Graduate Research requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

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Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.


Medicine and Radiology

Research Group / Unit / Centre

Rogerson Laboratory: Pathogenesis of malaria and immunity in children and pregnant women

Research Node

Royal Melbourne Hospital

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