This technical brief details the approaches used by the USAID | Health Improvement Project to increase the quality of, access to, and use of family planning services in Timor-Leste. At 5.7 births per woman, Timor-Leste has one of the highest fertility rates in the world. At 557 deaths per 100,000 live births, Timor-Leste also has one of the highest maternal mortality ratios in the Southeast Asia Region. Only 21% of married women of reproductive age used a modern method of birth control, while 31% had unmet family planning (FP) needs. Low awareness of modern FP methods among women, large desired family size, and low access to FP services contribute to a high number of unplanned pregnancies in Timor-Leste.
To achieve its objectives, the Health Improvement Project, known locally ask HADIAK, focused on increasing community engagement and demand for FP at the community level, increasing the number of health providers qualified to provide FP counseling and clinical services, and building the capacity of health facilities at every level to provide high quality FP services and contraceptive commodities.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) supported HADIAK as part of the overall U.S. Government package of assistance to Timor-Leste. HADIAK was a technical assistance project supporting the Ministry of Health (MOH) in the areas of maternal, neonatal and child health (MNCH) and family planning (FP) programming. Implementation focused on the municipalities of Ermera, Manatuto, and Oecusse. JSI, 2015.