Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Helping hands fighting to curb child mortality rate in Timor-Leste

In Timor-Leste, skilled midwives are reaching out to the mothers for ensuring safe delivery.
@UNICEF Timor-Leste/2018/ahelin
Timor-Leste has one of Asia’s highest child mortality rates, but skilled birth attendants provide an answer. Find out how UNICEF is training birth attendants to prevent tragedies in some of Timor-Leste’s most rural and under-resourced villages.


GLENO, TIMOR-LESTE :  In the small maternity room at the back of the  Gleno Community Health Center, rural Timor-Leste, 23-year-old Deolinda de Deus Maia sits with her newborn baby bundled on her lap. The baby sleeps peacefully, with closed eyes barely visible under a soft woollen beanie.


“How old is he?”


“Born last night,” she replies, with a tired smile.


It’s the first child for Deolinda and her husband, who stands proudly by his wife’s side at her hospital bed. They’re clearly thrilled with the healthy boy, and Deolinda is recovering well from the birth. Looking at the family, you wouldn’t believe how close they could have come to something else.


“Two days ago, I got suddenly sick,” Deolinda explains. “So, I called the midwife to help me.”


On the midwife’s advice Deolinda went to the health clinic at Railaco, a semi-rural town approximately halfway between Gleno and the country’s capital city, Dili, but the electricity at the clinic was out and they sent her to Gleno Community Health Center instead, where she safely delivered the baby boy.