23 Jan 2019

New health initiative aims to reduce newborn deaths in PNG

From , 4:03 pm on 23 January 2019

A programme in Papua New Guinea that hands out sachets of antiseptic could dramatically lower the number of newborn deaths.

Five thousand babies are estimated to die each year in PNG, a quarter of them from sepsis developed from infections around the umbilical chord in the week after birth.

Dr Chris Morgan, from Australia's Burnet Institute, says a new form of the antiseptic - Chlorhexidine - has been developed that, if successful, could cut those numbers dramatically.

He told Jamie Tahana it's simple to apply, cost-effective, and able to be used in remote areas.

Newborn baby

Photo: 123RF