Order of Malta Medical Clinic. Timor-Leste celebrates first anniversary
NOVEMBER is a very significant month for the Order of Malta mission in Timor Leste. One year ago, after years of preparation, the Order of Malta Clinic was finally inaugurated last November 7, 2017, and opened its door to patients on November 8, 2017.
The Order of Malta Clinic in Dili has continued its work in complementing the health care services in Timor-Leste. To commemorate this momentous event, the Clinic Team has put together various activities in grateful appreciation of the countless blessings we have received during our first year of operation.
On November 5-9, the clinic scheduled a week-long wellness program that include Hypertension and Diabetes screening, series of health education campaign, discussing a variety of health issues like hypertension, diabetes, malnutrition, tuberculosis, infectious diseases such as hepatitis B, and even violence (domestic and others). There were quite a number of individuals who attended the various program organized by the team.
NOVEMBER 7: CLINIC’S BIRTHDAY
Highlighting our anniversary week is the celebration of the Holy Eucharist at the clinic, with no less than H.E. Archbishop Joseph Marino, D.D., Apostolic Nuncio for Timor Leste as the main celebrant, and concelebrated by Mons. Mario Codamo, Charge d’ Affaires, Apostolic Nunciature in Timor Leste, and the Chaplain for The Order of Malta, Timor Leste; and Fr. Joseph Lester Maramara, SJ, Director of the Jesuit Novitiate.
In attendance were important personalities from the different health organizations in Timor Leste, like St. John of God, Maluk Timor, Ministry of Health; also nuns from St. Paul of Chartres congregation, headed by its District Superior Sr. Marie Bibianne Prado, SPC, who assisted in the preparation of the Liturgy and organized the choir, Missionaries of Charity who came down from the District of Aileu just to attend the mass, to name some.
Dinner-reception followed after the liturgy. Held at Hotel Timor, the program started at around 6:30 PM. Hosted by one of our team member, Dr. Maria de Araujo, the evening of Thanksgiving started with welcome remarks by Dr. Nara Caldas, Senior Doctor and Dr. Joanna Kate Brilliant, our Consultant.
The presentation of Accomplishment Report for one year of operation followed thereafter. Presented by Ms. Lanie Cabanes, Clinic Manager, the following achievements in the past 12 months were emphasized:Increasing clinic attendance daily: average of 70 patients daily, with 15,000 patients both new and follow-up
- Signing of the MOU with the Ministry of Health within 6 months of operation: strengthened partnership with the MOH thru Centre for Health-Comoro
- Two important public health programmes are implemented: Antenatal Care and Expanded program on immunization. A nurse and midwife from the health centre were assigned to assist in programme implementation
- Malnutrition programme enhanced by being a centre for distribution of supplemental food for malnourished children and pregnant women.
- Outreach programmes and participation in health mobilization organized by governmental and non-governmental agencies.
- Volunteer nurses provided to assist in the triage
Overall, of the clinics three year operational plan, 75% have been achieved in just less than a year.
To show appreciation of individuals who have contributed to the remarkable achievements of the clinic the past year, a hand-crafted stem of rose were offered to each of the supporters. Likewise, Certificates of Appreciation were given to our two volunteers: Mr. Nivio Pereira (Volunteer Logistics Assistant) and Sra. Josefa Maria Elsa Dos Santos (Volunteer Health Educator).
Clinic staff, being the backbone in the clinics success, were also aptly acknowledged and presented to the guests. More importantly, the team members have voted for their colleague who showed an exemplary performance of tasks and responsibilities: Dr. Maria de Araujo (Junior Doctor) and Sra. Anita de Jesus (Maintenance Assistant). Both received and Employee of the Year Certificate, which presented by Dr. Robert Costa, Chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee, and Dr. Rui Maria de Araujo, former Prime Minister and former Minister of Health.
In closing, Dr. Robert Costa, on behalf of H.E. Amb. Collin Yap, acknowledged the contribution of all the Clinic supporters, particularly, the generosity of the Jape Family. In his speech, Dr. Robert pointed out “the great contribution and the social justice attitude” of the Jape family; they provided the space for the clinic rent-free for a specific number of years and helped in financing the fit-out of the clinic.
The evening went well; guests and the clinic team were treated to a sumptuous buffet dinner, and opportunity to mingle with the other attendees.
One year has been survived with great accomplishments in serving the Timorese people. Our second year may look uncertain. As the saying goes, “It doesn’t matter where you go in life or what you do or achieve, what matters most is who you have beside you along the way!”
Watch our highlights video from the event: