Ministry of Health launches partnership with the World Health Organization and the European Union to mitigate the impacts of communicable diseases

Mon. 18 of January of 2021, 17:44h

The Government, through the Minister of Health, Odete Maria Freitas Belo, launched today, January 18th, 2021, a partnership with the European Union (EU) and the World Health Organization (WHO), to mitigate the impacts of communicable diseases, particularly COVID-19, as well as to contribute to a strong, effective and resilient health system in Timor Leste.

Under this partnership, the European Union will provide about US$ 2.4 million for a program to be implemented over 20 months, across the country, to strengthen the health system to the village (suco) level.

The program has four strategic objectives, that are:

  • To set up effective, gender sensitive and inclusive, participatory, transparent and responsible COVID-19 response operations;
  • To strengthen the ability to perform tests, to detect and monitor COVID-19 cases;
  • To reduce the risk of advanced impacts on morbidity and mortality, including other health issues; And
  • To timely access to specialist technicians, personal protective equipment and other non-medical items, necessary for the prevention and mitigation of COVID-19.

During the launch of the partnership, the Minister of Health stressed that “despite the relatively low number of cases, Timor-Leste remains at risk” and stated that “ with the support of partners such as the EU and WHO, we can build better and strong health systems in Timor Leste”.

Andrew Jacobs, EU Ambassador explained that “the initiative will strengthen the capacity of national laboratories to improve the management of COVID-19 cases and support Family Health program centres in providing new diagnostic equipment and medicines.”

Arvin Mathur, WHO Representative, expressed his satisfaction at this WHO partnership with the EU and stressed the importance of the EU’s contribution, “to WHO’s efforts to support Timor Leste’s response to this pandemic”. Further, he stated that “together, we must continue to strengthen the response to COVID-19, implementing strong basic preventive measures of public health”.