Heath indicators in Timor-Leste are still among the worst in the Asia-Pacific region, especially for women and children. According to Timor-Leste’s Demographic and Health Survey 2009-10, Timor-Leste has the highest maternal and under-5 mortality rates in Southeast Asia (557 deaths per 100,000 live births and 64 deaths per 1,000 live births, respectively). The country’s poor health statistics are driven by low immunization coverage, neonatal complications and prevalence of pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria, which is compounded by high malnutrition rates.
However, the country is making progress. Between 1990 and 2010, Timor-Leste achieved the largest reduction in under-5 mortality rates in the world. Between 2011 and 2013, USAID helped increase DPT3 (diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus), measles and polio vaccination coverage for infants by more than 10 percent in targeted areas, contributing to the country’s successful eradication of polio in 2014. With funding from the Government of Australia, USAID trains health workers to strengthen maternal, neonatal, child and reproductive health services, particularly in rural areas.
Last updated: November 26, 2015