MCH Goals: Contribute to the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality in Timor-Leste

Fundasaun Alola established its Maternal and Child Health Section in February 2003 through the creation of the National Breastfeeding Association (NBFA). Since 2006 Fundasaun Alola has extended its MCH program to include maternity packs, women’s health and newborn care.

NBFA was handed over to the Ministry of Health (MoH) Nutrition Department in 2009. To facilitate the handover process, Fundasaun Alola has seconded a senior staff member for two days to work with the MoH. The staff member will assist in coordinating and organizing the implementation of Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), providing breastfeeding training for health workers and advocating for a breastfeeding policy and an international code for breastmilk substitutes.

Infant and young child feeding is a global strategy that was adopted by Timor Leste in 2006. It is now a national program at MoH under the Nutrition Department and Fundasaun Alola is responsible for running it across the country. Fundasaun Alola is involved in the training of health care workers in infant and young child feeding and Alola also established Maternal and Child Health Community-Based Groups, specifically Mothers Support Groups (MSG) and Suku Hadomi Inan no Oan (Village Loves it Mother and Children) (SHIO). These groups are the target to disseminate the information to encourage and support mothers to initiate breastfeeding immediately after delivery, to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of life and to continue breastfeeding for at least two years along with introduction of appropriate complementary feeding,