DILI, 17 october 2023 (TATOLI) – The Ambassador of Japan to Timor-Leste, Tetsuya KIMURA, attended the Maternal and Child Reproductive Health Awareness Campaign event organized by Frontline, a Japanese NGO, in the Ermera Municipality Authority, and the Ermera Municipality Health Department in Gleno, Ermera Municipality.
The campaign had been conducted in 16 villages of Ermera Municipality from september 4 to raise awareness about reproductive health among the local residents.
Ambassador Kimura attended the final event of the campaign, which was held to commemorate International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
The event was attended by Eusébio Salsinha, the Administrator of Ermera Municipality, Augusta Amaral Lopes, Chief of the Maternal and Child Health Department, Ministry of Health, and Kimura Tetsuya, the Ambassador of Japan to Timor-Leste.
Frontline has been implementing the project “Improving Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (RMNCH) in Ermera Municipality” with funds from the Government of Japan to improve reproductive health services and awareness among the residents of Ermera Municipality since 2021. Frontline chose Ermera as its project area because of the high rate of infant mortality and pregnancy or birth deaths. In 2022, there were 55 infant deaths and 19 pregnancy or child deaths in Ermera.
In 2021, Frontline built the Guisarudu Health Center Maternity Building to reduce maternal and infant mortality and to improve access to health services for the local residents. In 2022, 288 pregnant women gave birth and 495 pregnant women received antenatal care in the building. In addition, Frontline provided 29 portable ultrasound machines to health posts in Ermera and the National Institute of Health (INS), while establishing obstetric ultrasound training for the first time in Timor-Leste. Frontline has trained 25 health workers in Ermera through the project 10 of whom were certified as obstetrics and gynecology ultrasound practitioners by INS.
Through this project, 4,000 pregnant women will have access to obstetric ultrasound, more than 35 health workers and government officials will benefit from capacity building and development of the RMNCH health system, more than 100 medical volunteers will gain knowledge on safe pregnancy and childbirth, and an additional 16,000 community members will increase their awareness of reproductive health including the importance of receiving periodical ultra-sonography check-ups through advocacy campaigns, leading to a reduction in preventable maternal and child mortality.
During the event, Ambassador Kimura delivered his speech and expressed his hope to this project by saying: “This three-year project is now in its final year. I would like to encourage the Ministry of Health, INS and Health Department of Ermera Municipality to make fully utilize of the maternity building, portable ultrasound machines, and obstetric ultrasound training for many years.”
“I hope that these achievements will be shared even beyond Ermera Municipality,” Ambassador Kimura said last week, in Ermera municipality.
Journalist: Camilio de Sousa
Editor: Filomeno Martins