An Australian study will examine why Papua New Guinea mothers are 80 times more likely to die in childbirth than mothers in Australia.
The Burnet Institute in Australia will undertake a five-year research program to tackle Papua New Guinea's high infant and maternal mortality rates.
Burnet's Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies program aims to provide life-saving health care for women and children in Papua New Guinea through translational and community research.
Burnet CEO Professor Brendan Crabb says they're looking at research that will lead to cost-effective and accessible intervention programs in more remote parts of PNG.
"There is decent obstetric care in the major centres in PNG but getting there is incredibly hard, and that's a greater challenge in PNG than in most other places in the Pacific," he said.
"We are going to look at interventions that we know work in settings where there is good obstetric care and good clinics, but we don't know how to deliver those into rural and remote communities, where it's just not realistic for people to access good healthcare."
More than 5,000 babies will die in the first 24 hours of life and another 10,000 children perish before their fifth birthday.
The study will look at testing more effective ways to implement interventions to remote communities and define the causes of the major diseases that contribute to maternal and infant mortality, such as anaemia, malaria, and malnutrition.
"What this is about is trying to find out what are some of the... new ways that we can look at dealing with this situation...for not much expenditure, and to do that we really have to innovate," Professor Crabb said.