TIMOR-LESTE: Addressing the baby boom

February 2, 2010 • Daily Email Recap

Many thanks to Roger Plenty for this article from Irin News.

By 8am, the reception room at the Marie Stopes International health clinic in Dili is overflowing with women waiting for reproductive health services.

About 450 patients are helped at the clinic each month but this is just a fraction of Timor-Leste’s 1.1 million population, most of whom live in remote rural areas with scant access to health education and services.

According to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), women in Timor-Leste – the world’s newest independent nation and also Asia’s poorest – give birth to an average 6.38 children during their lifetime, one of the highest fertility rates in the world and second only to Afghanistan.

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