Baucau District, Timor Leste
Fundasaun Lafaek Diak (The Good Crocodile Foundation), a Christian organisation helping to provide health care and community development to the poor in Timor Leste.
After years of conflict, Timor-Leste is getting back on its feet, but there is a long way to go. There are very few facilities outside of the major towns, people have little understanding about good nutrition and health care and diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, tuberculosis, diarrhoea and childhood infections are widespread. There are also few education or other services available for expectant mothers.
A local clinic is vital for the health of remote communities. The project is ensuring that health care services are accessible by:
- providing direct medical services to the community of twelve surrounding villages, plus emergency care and home visits when required.
- running a mobile clinic on a monthly basis to at least three villages in the surrounding area, so that those who can’t make the walk can still have access to health services.
- monitoring the health of expectant mothers and babies, providing education around family planning and child and maternal health, immunisations and access to midwives.
- providing training for staff at the clinic four times a year. The project also works to improve overall health in the community, by:
- supporting the construction of water and sanitation facilities for the community including toilets, access to clean water and a laundry;
- establishing a demonstration kitchen garden and providing demonstrations to the community to promote good nutrition;
- conducting health education in local schools and communities.
Making a difference in Baucau
Timor-Leste still bears the scars of over 500 years of occupation first by Portugal and then by Indonesia. Civil unrest followed the declaration of independence in 2002, and what little infrastructure there was then has been seriously eroded. People living in the area used to have to walk two or three hours to get medical help.
Since the clinic opened, locals like Carolina now have access to reliable health care. She recently visited the clinic because her two girls had fevers, coughing and cold sores. The clinic doctor treated Carolina's daughters, and put them on a course of antibiotics. "The clinic is right here in our midst, and that is really, really great," she said. "If we are sick we don’t have far to go, and the staff are qualified to help us, so we think it's really good."