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DILI, December 6, 2021 -- UNFPA is finalizing the development of a training follow-up program that will use virtual reality technology to build on trainings to healthcare workers and strengthen and complement the existing globally-recognized Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (EmONC) training programme.

The virtual reality innovation, the first project to implement the technology in Timor-Leste and possibly in the Asia-Pacific region, is expected to be completed by March 2022.

According to UNFPA Timor-Leste Country Representative, Mr. Ronny Lindstrom, the virtual reality program will include the design of virtual reality modules which will contain Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (EmONC) skills and procedures to save the lives of mothers and babies using virtual reality googles.

User experience will be enhanced through use of virtual reality googles to aid simulation and visualization of real medical situations for trainees -- creating digitally mediated learning environments while boosting learning experiences and outcomes.

“This virtual reality program will provide opportunities to healthcare workers in Timor-Leste to practice their skills and competencies and increase their confidence in managing Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care cases,” said Mr. Ronny Lindstrom, UNFPA Timor-Leste Country Representative.

The new innovation will also align with the government priorities for maternal health, as stated in Timor-Leste Strategic Development Plan 2011-2030 that emphasizes emergency obstetric care through recognition, early detection and management of obstetric complications at the community and referral levels.

UNFPA partners with government and other stakeholders to strengthen health systems, train health care workers, educate midwives and improve access to the full range of reproductive health services.

 “The virtual reality training program is in line with Sustainable Development Goal 3.1 that aims to reduce the global Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) to less than 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030, and to have no country with an MMR above 140,” said Mr. Ronny Lindstrom.

“We aim to refresh the skills of hundreds of trained doctors and midwives to help them save lives and avoid maternal deaths.”


For more information, contact:


Suleiman Okoth

Communications and Programme Support Specialist

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Timor-Leste

UN House, Caicoli Street, Dili, Timor-Leste

Mobile: +67075169796

WhatsApp: +254 780534026