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Timor-Leste faces considerable sexual and reproductive health challenges. Women have an average of six children in their lifetime and many start their family at a very young age, with one in 17 girls aged 15-19 having given birth.
Maternal mortality is very high, with one woman dying for every 270 babies born. Despite a growing awareness of contraceptive choices, there is still a huge unmet need for family planning. Nearly 70 percent of married women want to delay or have no more children, but only 22 percent use any form of contraception, and even less use modern contraceptives. This is one of the lowest rates in the world.
Marie Stopes International Timor-Leste implements a ‘whole of system’ approach and works in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health to support the government to achieve their national maternal health goals. This approach focuses on three key activities: strengthening the health system, increasing access and improving equity.
 Timor-Leste Demographic and Health Survey 2009-10
 WHO Health Statistics 2011
 UNFPA State of the World Population 2011
More than 70 percent of the population of Timor-Leste live in isolated areas. Our outreach teams travel to remote and vulnerable communities by foot, vehicle and boat to deliver a range of services. In 2012, we delivered services in eight of Timor-Leste’s 13 districts.
Extreme poverty is a daily reality in Timor-Leste and in 2012, more than one third of our outreach clients were living on less than $1.25 per day.
Reaching young people is critical in Timor Leste as 65 percent of the population is under 25, and most have no access to youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services. In 2012, 25 percent of our clients were under 25.
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