|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.
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