Health

Economies are the work of people so a fair and accessible health system is vital for any growth.

Health Centers in Oé-Cusse, Timor-Leste. Credit: Rui Da Silva Pinto

In the past Oé-Cusse was not well equipped with health facilities. Issues such as bad roads which prevent easy transport of temperature sensitive medicine, a lower living standard which did not attract qualified personnel and a lack of resources were seen as insurmountable problems.

ZEESM TL believes that every person should have access to basic health care and that issues preventing this must be dealt with in a long term manner.

As in all of Timor-Leste, healthcare in Oé-Cusse is free, but this does not make health care certain unless ordinary people can physically access clinics that are well equipped with both equipment and committed staff. Health issues facing the population are both basic and urgent, such as malnutrition.

The Secretary of Health, Lusia Taeki, supervises a network of health centers. The main hospital is in P ante-Macassar, four community health centers based in Oseilo, Baqui, Passabe and Baocnana and a further seventeen health posts. A new clinic is being built in Pante-Macassar.

The Hospital is based in Pante-Macassar and has an emergency, surgery, ear and x-ray section as well as a laboratory and x-ray.

Data

Without concrete data no progress can be attempted and no results analyzed. A lack of accurate and timely data is a constant problem throughout Timor-Leste. For this reason, ZEESM TL and the Health Authority have already invested US $18,000 in 2016 in conducting a survey of every family in Oé-Cusse to see what health issues they face. A further US $7,000 has been invested in 2017 to continue this work. ZEESM TL has also partnered with United Nations Development Programme to conduct a data project that seeks to streamline daily details into a searchable format. There are five focus points: the hospital in Pante-Macassar, and four community health centres based in Oseilo, Baqui, Passabe and Baocnana. These five centres service 17 health posts which feed data back into the centres to be processed and uploaded onto the central database, which is called DHIS2.

Rural Access

Most of Oé-Cusse is rural. To conquer permanently the lack of access to timely medical attention, ZEESM TL has focused on expanding the health services by embedding local experts in the local clinics. According to a report by the World Bank, up to 85% of households use the health facilities.

Training

Wherever possible ZEESM TL targets local employment, with a strong focus on women employees. In the hospital’s emergency there are eight doctors, most of them women, in the general hospital doctor pool, all ten doctors are from Timor-Leste, with three from Oé-Cusse. All 26 nurses are Timorese, of both genders. All 13 midwives are from Timor-Leste. We salute both our surgeons, our ear doctor and our anesthesia technician who have all traveled from Cuba to assist us. The anesthesia technician is helping us train two Timorese, both from Oé-Cusse, in his skill set, while the ear doctor is training two nurses.

In other news two Timorese doctors, one woman and one man, both from Oé-Cusse, have been selected in June 2017 to complete further training and studies in order to be cardiologists.