UNFPA provides simulation equipment to all midwifery schools in TL to improve skills in safe delivery

UNFPA provides simulation equipment to all midwifery schools in TL to improve skills in safe delivery


DILI, 26 january 2024 (TATOLI) – The United Nations Population Funds (UNFPA) handed over simulation equipment “Mama Birthie” and “Mama Natalie” to all midwifery schools in Timor-Leste.

The handover ceremony took place at the National University of Timor-Leste (UNTL) in Dili. During the opening ceremony, Pressia Arifin-Cabo, the UNFPA Country Representative in Timor-Leste, emphasized the significant role of midwifery schools in reducing maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality in the country.

“Midwives and people with midwifery skills are the main caregivers for women and their newborns during pregnancy, labour, childbirth and in the post-delivery period. Yet they do not just deliver babies: Well-trained midwives can provide comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information and services, and play a critical role in promoting health within their communities,” said Pressia Arifin-Cabo, during the handover.

As per the findings of the 2016 Demographic Health Survey, the maternal mortality rate in Timor-Leste is at 195 per 100,000 live births, while infant mortality rate is at 30 per 1,000 live births. Ensuring that midwives are well-trained and have adequate skills to attend especially to complications during birth, are key in bringing down these indicators.

The Vice-Rector of Administration and Finance Affairs of UNTL, Professor Hélio Augusto da Costa Xavier, on behalf of three midwifery schools, expressed his gratitude to UNFPA for its consistent support to improving midwifery education and training: “We extend our heartfelt appreciation to UNFPA for the ongoing support provided to our three midwifery schools. We are thankful for not only today’s contribution but also for their support in the previous years, including the training of our teachers and the provision of essential equipment. With your unwavering support, we are able to cultivate highly skilled midwives for our nation.”

The Minister of Higher Education, Science, and Culture, José Honório da Costa Pereira Jerónimo, in his speech, said that the IX Constitutional Government will maintain collaboration with partners, primarily with UNFPA, to enhance the standards of midwifery schools in Timor-Leste in alignment with the objectives outlined in the National Strategic Plan for 2030. “The government, under my leadership, extends gratitude to UNFPA for their generous support, which complements our government’s efforts. The IX government remains steadfast in its commitment to elevating the quality of higher education throughout the nation,” stated Minister Jerónimo.

UNFPA is committed to improving midwifery education in Timor-Leste through curriculum development, skills training, providing basic equipment, medical and non-medical supplies to the midwifery skills laboratory,  as well as supporting the National Midwifery Association.


Journalist: Jose Belarmino de Sa

Editor: Filomeno Martins


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