In 2004 we heard about the very high maternal mortality incidence of 506 deaths per 100,000 live births. The Timorese women were dying from pregnancy and birth related complications, many preventable.
In 2005 we travelled to East Timor to see if there was anything we could do to assist our closest northern neighbours. During this trip we were asked to provide some education for midwives and also provide equipment and resources.
Since then, we have made annual trips to East Timor for periods of 1-3 months, providing assistance, education and resources.
The 2016 Timor-Leste Demographic and Health Survey (TLDHS) concluded a Maternal mortality ratio of 195 deaths per 100,000 live births between 2009 and 2016 (confidence interval: 107-283).
Over the years the education for midwives has continued to improve through the Ministry of Health and other Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) like Health Alliance international that are capacity-building midwives. Therefore, our role has become more of a supportive one. We undertake fundraising activities to provide resources and educational manikins for Midwives when requested.
Midwives East Timor Australia is a Not for Profit organisation that is registered with Rotary Australia World Community Services (RAWCS) and is a project of The Rotary Club of Erina Inc (NSW, Australia). Donations to this project are tax deductible.
Our fundraising activities support Timorese Midwives to deliver safe care for women and babies of East Timor by providing essential equipment for midwives, resources for educational purposes, and financial support for the maintenance and operation of a 4WD maternity ambulance which transports pregnant and labouring women in Remexio and surrounding areas, to and from birthing facilities and to hospital when problems occur.
We have provided blood pressure machines and stethoscopes, fetal dopplers, portable ultrasounds (these are especially important in remote areas so that women who have any complications can be transferred to a hospital prior to labour starting)
These contain items that are necessary for new mums and their babies. The Kits also encourage new mums to birth with a midwife and therefore have a safe birth.
Timorese Midwives provide education and learning labs for Midwives working in remote districts. We undertake a variety of fundraising activities to provide manikins for use during these learning labs, and also for the use by the Midwives after the learning labs to practice and improve their skills.
The manikins we provide include Baby Anne Resus manikins, and maternal/birthing manikins with babies. These are used to teach about birth, and to teach about newborn resuscitation using resuscitation bags and masks.
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