Expanding its reach – Timor-Leste Medical Clinic
Staff from the Order of Malta medical clinic extending national vaccinations to residents of Ailele Hun, one of the areas around Dili identified by the Timorese Ministry of Health as lacking basic health services.
The village of Ailele Hun, which sits high in the hills surrounding the Capital, Dili, is several hours’ difficult walk from the national hospital or similar health services. Ailele Hun is one of the six districts which the Order now visits on a fixed day each week, so people can gather for diagnosis and treatment.
The outreach service has been made possible thanks to a grant from the Order’s Global Fund for Forgotten People which has funded the outreach vehicle and first year’s staffing and consumables costs. The outreach team includes both a Doctor and a Midwife, and all Clinic staff participate in rotation.
These scheduled visits are vitally important in reaching the Order’s principal objectives in Timor-Leste, which are: nutrition for infants, pregnant women and nursing mothers; and other health support during pregnancy and a child’s first five years.
This includes treatment for severe malnutrition, as well as general education on healthy diet. It also includes: early identification of congenital conditions for remediation such as cleft palate; and early support for children with special needs, such as those with Downs Syndrome.
Alongside the maternal and infant health service, the outreach program delivers free primary care to anyone in need. This includes wound care, treatment for viral illness, and early identification of serious disease. For those needing treatment at the clinic or national hospital, it is also able to provide emergency transport from remote areas around the Capital.
“Going beyond the walls of the Clinic, enables the Order of Malta to provide medical services to those unable to access those offered in Dili” explains Order of Malta member Alastair Furnival. “The outreach team expect to see 700 patients each month, who would otherwise go without treatment, in addition to the 600 we already see at the clinic”.
Whilst the longer-term goal is to provide further vehicles and staff to increase capacity of the outreach service, the immediate focus is to secure funding to sustain this initial vehicle.
The cost of an ambulance in Dili is approximately US$40,000, with annual staffing and other costs of around $US20,000. Donations to the Order of Malta Medical Clinic in Timor-Leste are tax deductoble.
For anyone seeking more information on our outreach, or the Order’s broader works in Timor-Leste, please e-mail: email@example.com