East Timor’s Dire Family Planning Needs

February 2, 2010 • Daily Email Recap

East Timor, the world’s newest nation, is currently threatened with a soaring population, expected to double by 2020 [1]. UNFPA reports that Timor-Leste has the highest fertility rate in the world, averaging 7.8 children per woman [2]. It is additionally alarming that countries with high birth rates tends to have high maternal and infant mortality. [3] Reliable child and maternal mortality rates are hard to obtain for East Timor, but it is unquestionable that the poor quality and accessibility of family planning has directly impacted the health of Timorese women and children. According to WHO [4], East Timor has a maternal mortality rate of 380 deaths per 100,000 live births. UNICEF [5] report correspondingly shocking rates of death exist for infants and children under the age of five, with an under-five mortality rate of 55 per 1,000 live births in 2006, and an infant mortality rate of 47 in 2006.

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