Subject: LUSA: More Midwives Needed to Counter High Maternal Mortality - WHO

18 Mar 02 11:41 East Timor: More Midwives Needed to Counter High Maternal Mortality - WHO

East Timorese women giving birth are ten times more likely to die than in any other country in Southeast Asia or the Pacific region, according to World Health Organization statistics.

The WHO figures, that LUSA has seen, show that less than a quarter of Timorese women have access to health services or midwives. This major shortfall in Timor`s primary health care system is largely due to the destruction of infrastructures during Indonesian-sponsored violence in 1999.

"These figures are a real tragedy", reveals the WHO document, which states that East Timor has only 196 midwives for its 800,000 population.

To combat this deficiency, 15 midwifery instructors were trained in 2001 and are now giving various courses.

"Despite this, and to try and reduce the high and devastating mortality rate, more midwives are urgently needed", states the WHO document.

CJB/ASP -Lusa-

© 1997 Lusa Comentários e Sugestões para Agência Lusa

Back to March menu

World Leaders Contact List
Human Rights Violations in East Timor
Main Postings Menu

Note: For those who would like to fax "the powers that be" - CallCenter is a Native 32-bit Voice Telephony software application integrated with fax and data communications... and it's free of charge! Download from