NATIONAL, DILI, HEALTH

Australia provides critical medical equipment for Covid-19 Response

Australia provides critical medical equipment for Covid-19 Response

(photo Tatoli/António Daciparu)

DILI, 28 march 2022 (TATOLI) – The Australian Government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) provided medical equipment to the National Health Laboratory (NHL) to support the Covid-19 response.

Stephanie Williams, the Australian Ambassador for Regional Health Security said that the equipment was critical for NHL to strengthen its capacity in testing and detecting the Covid-19.

“Today, Australia has handed over a new GeneXpert machine, a PCR Testing machine, a diagnostic machine, and some reagents to NHL. So, NHL can continue to strengthen the number of samples that they can test every day,” Williams made the comments after the handover ceremony at NHL, in Dili, today.

She said no one knows what types of infectious diseases were circulating in a country like Timor-Leste, saying, therefore, it’s impossible to implement the right preventive measures: “Covid-19 has given us a huge opportunity to donate and have the equipment required to test and detect Covid-19. But it has a much broader application in terms of a machine that can help improve the number of different types of infectious diseases that are detected in Timor-Leste.”

Williams stressed that Australia was committed to restrengthening the ongoing relationship with Timor-Leste in the health sector.

“Australia has ongoing partnerships with Timor-Leste in health in many ways with the bilateral program, and through partnership for human development. The laboratory partnership through MENZIES was supported by Australia’s Center for Health Security, as part of the Covid-19 response. We look forward to continuing a partnership with MENZIES. I think the gains that have been made here in the lab need to be sustained,” Williams said.

The Machines were purchased with several years of service support from the company. The maintenance service was part of the donation to make sure the equipment can be maintained and monitored for at least the initial few years.

She said the machines were part of the whole range of the previous donation over the last three years.

The machines would be used at the NHL to carry out the Covid-19 diagnostic testing of samples from the national and referral hospitals.

Apart from the handover ceremony, Williams and Vice Minister of Health, Bonifácio Mau Coli dos Reis also visited the laboratory microbiology, serology, and the new extension of the PCR lab.

Minister Reis thanked the Government and the people of Australia for the support: “It’s not the first time we receive such equipment from the Australian government. Australia has supported us with our Covid-19 Response since day one.”

“These machines are critical for our national lab to carry out Covid-19 diagnostic testing. Again, on behalf of the government of Timor-Leste, I would like to express our deep appreciation to the Australian government for all the support,” he said.  

 

Journalist: Filomeno Martins 

Editor: Nelia Borges Rosario

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