During the past decade, maternal and newborn mortality in Timor-Leste has experienced a notable decline . Improvements have been made, but still an estimated 2702 women die in pregnancy or childbirth for every 100,000 live births: 243 neonates die around the time of birth for every 1,000 live births. These indices are unacceptably high and reflect the limited quality and availability of maternal and newborn health services in the country.
Maternal and newborn health is one of the top priorities of the Ministry of Health (MoH).
In 2008, with the support of UNFPA, a National Emergency Obstetric Care (EmOC) assessment was undertaken. The assessment found that there were gaps in the availability and functioning of maternity care, particularly at the BEmOC level. The assessment informed the development of strategic actions, designed to reduce maternal and newborn mortality across the country.
As seven years had lapsed since the first EmOC assessment in 2008, a decision was taken by Minister of Health to review progress, and expedite or intervene to narrow the gaps between what was planned and actual progress, and align strategically with future Government plans, policies and best practice. To inform this process, a National Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (EmONC) Needs Assessment was undertaken between September 2015 and November 2015. This report documents the results of that assessment.
The evidence generated will help the Ministry of Health and development partners to prioritise and monitor actions, to improve the availability, utilisation and quality of EmONC and further reduce maternal and newborn mortality across Timor-Leste.