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While the total fertility rate continues to decline in Timor-Leste, it stands at 5.7 - the highest in the region. The total fertility rate is considerably higher in rural (6.0) than in urban (4.2) areas. Estimates of the maternal mortality ratio range from 270 to 570 deaths per 100,000 live births. Among young women aged 15 to 19, the maternal mortality ratio is 1,037 per 100,000 live births. Skilled health personnel assist only 30 per cent of current deliveries, and facility delivery is low, at 20 per cent.

UNFPA Timor-Leste in collaboration with the Ministry of Health is dedicated to building capacity of midwifery schools in Timor-Leste to provide high-quality pre-service midwifery education including training on the Minimum Initial Services Package (MISP) to mitigate effects of disasters like COVID-19 and to improve midwives’ working conditions through provision of state of the art facilities to midwifery schools.”


Midwives are fundamental in ending preventable deaths during and after childbirth and achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.1 – reducing global deaths due to complications from pregnacy and childbirths ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030.