Govt-development partners reaffirm commitment to end tuberculosis

Govt-development partners reaffirm commitment to end tuberculosis

Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak has put forward five members of the opposition FRETILIN Party to fill vacant ministerial roles. (Image/Egas Cristovão)

DILI, 01 october 2021 (TATOLI) – The Government of Timor-Leste and the development partners reaffirm their commitment to end tuberculosis in Timor-Leste by signing a joint efforts agreement.

Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak said that ending Tuberculosis, a highly contagious, disabling, and sometimes fatal disease, is not only an objective defined in the National Health Plan or the Programme of the 8th Constitutional Government: “It is a public health imperative and a constitutional duty undertaken towards our citizens, who wish to see the right to a healthy life become a reality.”

“Today we are gathered here to renew the great challenge assumed by the Country in the National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP) and foreseen in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), signing with our development partners, a Timor-Leste’ Commitment to End Tuberculosis.” Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak commented in his speech at City-8 hall in Dili, on Thursday.

Ruak said the government wanted to do more, with the available means, but it needs everyone’s collaboration, in an integrated way, with multi-sectoral strategies, adding Tuberculosis is not only an obligation of health authorities or a priority of Governments but a civic duty of every citizen.

“The commitment we sign today intends to do more and better, in the next 5 (five) years, for people at greater risk, people infected or disabled by this disease, with more work, more effort, more support, better assistance, and greater investment and solidarity allocated to this important Public Health priority,” he said.

Tuberculosis affects about 508 people in every 100,000 inhabitants in Timor-Leste, which represents the second-highest incidence rate in the Southeast Asian region and one of the highest in the world.

Therefore, Prime Minister Ruak and development partners renew their unbreakable commitment to end tuberculosis.

“This is a commitment that appeals to our participation in spreading the word and raising awareness among citizens, in identifying new cases, in referring them to specialized institutions, in the solidarity that these Timorese sisters and brothers deserve from us and that justifies greater assistance and coordinated support between the Government, civil society, religious leaders, local leaders, and families, to work together to prevent and cure this disease,” Ruak added.

At the same place, WHO’s Representative in Timor-Leste, Arvind Mathur provided that Tuberculosis is a preventable, treatable, and curable disease, saying it remains one of the top infectious killers worldwide.

“One way to address this is through screening to rapidly identify people with TB infection or disease and provide the treatment and care they need, ” said Mathur.

He added however simple finding and treating requires planning, collaboration, and investment.


Journalsit: Antinia Gusmão

Editor: Julia Chatarina

Translation: Filomeno Martins 

Editor: Nelia Borges Rosario


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