Sunday, August 07, 2011

Summary – Sydney Medical School – Timor Leste Projects

Key partners/collaborators

·         Timor Leste Ministry of Health
·         Dili National Hospital Guido Valadares (and District Refferal Hospitals)
·         WHO
·         Timor Leste National Laboratory, Dili
·         National University Timor Lorosae (UNTL) – new collaboration
·         Health Alliance International
·         St John of God
·         Order of Malta

Existing Programs

1.      Building  critical care workforce capacity via a professional development training collaboration (Kirsty Foster/Dilhani Bandaranayake)
This health education collaboration was establihed in 2008 between Sydney Medical School and the Ministry of Health to build critical care/emergency workforce capacity in Timor Leste. A multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurse and educators from Sydney Medical School, Northem Clinical School, Sydney Nursing School and ICU at Royal North Shore Hospital are involved in the program. We have run for critical care workshop, two “train-the-trainer” education session and three follow up “on the job” training days in Timor Leste to date.

Lates update:

May/June 2011 – 4th practical based critical care skills workshop run at Dili National Hospital Guido Valadares. The workshop was for 8 staff from HNGV, 5 ambulance staff from the ambulance service and 5 health staff from two of the Dili District Community Health Centre. This was the first time that a combined workshop was carried out and was extremely successful.

2.      Ala funded Timor Leste Health Leadership Program (Dilhani Bandaranayake)

Supported through AusAID and Sydney Medical School, the Office for Global Health is providing leadership training to Timor Leste’s health-related professionals. The inaugural cohort of six Timorese –related professionals participated as Fellows in the program in 2009. With continuing support from AusAid, a new cohort of 10 Timorese Fellows is participating in the health leadership program in 2011. The Fellows is July and each one has and individualized 12 week program develop for them. H.E. Mr. Miles Armitage, Australian Ambassador to Timor Leste, held a formal reception at his residence in Dili for Sydney Medical School’s Timor Leste Health Leadership Program Fellows on 17th May 2011. The reception was attended by the new cohort of 10 Timorese Fellows, alumni from 2009 inaugural cohort, as well as representatives from the Ministry of Health, AusAID, WHO, Health Alliance International and the University of Sydney.

3.      Building the capacity of the National Laboratory to undertake communicable disease surveillance in Timor Leste (Peter McMinn)

The objective of this project is to build the capacity of the National Laboratory in the identification of communicable disease pathogens of national, regional and global significance. The project twins the National Laboratory with the laboratories of Sydney Medical School and associated teaching hospital and public health laboratories at the University of Sydney. The National Laboratory is responsible for surveillance, investigation and research on communicable disease in Timor Leste. By enabling the NL to access the expertise of the clinical, research and diagnostic microbiology laboratories at Usyd, this twinning project will equip the NL with the expertise to implement effective laboratory surveillance for major communicamble disease threats in Timor Leste.

The Preject Leader at Sydney University is Prof Peter McMinn who did a scoping visit to Timor leste in 2010. Funding for this laboratory twinning project is provided by WHO.

Lates update:

June 2011 – Peter McMinn is currently in Dili and has just completed a parasitology “train-the-trainer” course at the National Public Health Laboratory.

4.      Primary Health Care collaboration (Lyndal Trevena)
Lynda Trevena has been collaborating closely with the Dr. Nelson Martins to review data from the Servisu Integrado Saude Communitaire (SISCa) program in Timor Leste. The Timorese Ministry of Health has prioritized this program which means “Integrated Health Services at the Community Level” in order to bring services and health promotion information to people who otherwise have little contact with the formal health system. The SISCa program is an effort to connect the government health system with rural communities, and to give communities responsibility for assuring that care is available and accessible. SISCa events revolve around a “Six Table Assistance System” consisting of 1) population registration, 2) nutrition assistance, 3) maternal and child health, 4) personal hygiene and sanitation, 5) health care service, and 6) health education. A joint publication has been sumitted to the Lancet.

5.      Sydney Medical School Students (Scholarship and electives)

The two Timor Leste student studying Medicine under the Sydney Medical School sponsored scholarship program are the entering third year of the Medical program (Noeno and Diana)

Interviews are being undertaken for Timorese applicants for the 2012 program.

In aadition, a number of our Medical Students have undertaken or will be undertaking electives with some of our key partners in Timor-Leste, particularly with the National Hospital in Dili, Community Health Centres and the Klibur Domin facility.

New collaboration

National University Timor Lorosae MOU
An MOU has been signed between National University Timor Lorosae (UNTL) and the University of Sydney. Sydney Medical School is one of the faculties supporting the MOU. The other two faculties are the Arts and Education and Social Work. There is a strong interest from all three faculties to establish research, teaching and learning links with UNTL. The Rector of UNTL visited USYD on 6th July to sign the MOU and meet with the representatives from the Faculties.

Other News

·         Adjunct Professorship – We have recommended Dr. Nelson Martins (Minister of Health) for an Adjunct Professorship with the University of Sydney. The recommendation is currently with the Senate.

·         Timor Leste Fund – discussions underway to establish a Timor Leste Fund within Sydney Medical School. A business case is currently being developed.

·         Sydney Nursing School are developing a partnership with Mary McKillop Foundation to train Community Health workers in Timor Leste (Dr. John Grootjans)

·         Endeavour Executive Awards – Two Sydney Medical School Staff received Endeavour Executive Awards in 2009 and 2011 to work in Timor Leste, Dr Dilhani Bandaranayake (2009) and Associate Professor Lyndal Trevena (2011).

·         School of Public Health are involve in developing a nutrition program in Timor Leste with UNICEF and AusAID (Dr Mu Li)

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