USAID and UNICEF handed over additional medical equipment and supplies to support TL’s COVID-19 response and health system recovery

USAID and UNICEF handed over additional medical equipment and supplies to support TL’s COVID-19 response and health system recovery

Photo Tatoli/Francisco Sony

DILI, 24 october 2022 (TATOLI) – Timor-Leste – United States—through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) – in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) handed over a range of critical medical equipment and supplies to support the national COVID-19 response and health system recovery process.

The provision of medical equipment and supplies is part of an ongoing US$2.4 million partnership between USAID to UNICEF to improve healthcare services at hospitals, increase coverage of essential maternal, newborn, and child health services, and improve access to information on vaccines and COVID-19 prevention.

The consignment of medical equipment was handed over to Odete Maria Freitas Belo, Minister of Health, by U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Tom Daley and Ainhoa Jaureguibeitia, UNICEF Deputy Representative at a ceremony held at the SAMES warehouse in central Dili. 

The medical equipment included 50 oxygen concentrators and personal protective equipment (PPE) adequate to cater to the health services for several months. In addition, Infection Prevention and Control packages, each consisting of 25 items in varying quantities, were handed over to 15 Community Health Centers. This package includes equipment such as instrument sterilizers, and other items such as biohazard bags, gloves, boots, and buckets, as well as cleaning and disinfecting solutions. 

“USAID and UNICEF have been critical partners in helping Timor-Leste fight the COVID-19 pandemic, including in the vaccination campaign, and have continued to support us sustain and build up our health system to treat and providing emergency and regular services to children and families,” said Minister Belo. 

The provision of medical equipment builds on existing joint support by USAID and UNICEF. 

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the United States has worked side-by-side with the Government of Timor-Leste to provide over 200,000 Pfizer vaccines and over US$6.4 million in critical assistance to fight COVID-19,” said Chargé Daley. “We are proud to partner with the Ministry of Health and UNICEF to support Timor-Leste’s COVID-19 response and strengthen health security to prevent future pandemics.”

To date, several hundred thousand people in five municipalities have benefited from COVID-19 response activities through the partnership between USAID, UNICEF, and the Ministry of Health. This has been achieved through the improvement of WASH facilities in 20 Community Health Centers (CHCs) in five municipalities; awareness raising on COVID-19 prevention and vaccine uptake through advocacy meetings, deployment of social mobilization coordination personnel, and door-to-door mobilization in four municipalities; and provision of IPC packages to 18 CHCs. In addition, UNICEF has also commenced the process for WASH improvements in 13 additional CHCs.

“The equipment we are providing today will help ensure Timor-Leste’s health system can adequately treat patients suffering from severe COVID-19 infection, pneumonia, and other diseases requiring specialized care, while ensuring the health system is well equipped to also provide essential health services to children and their families across Timor-Leste,” said Ainhoa Jaureguibeitia, UNICEF Deputy Representative. “We should avoid, at all costs, an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease or a breakdown in health services due to a lack of equipment. This support will go toward mitigating the occurrence of this scenario.”

UNICEF has been supporting Timor-Leste’s national COVID-19 response since early 2020 and has contributed to improving access to health services, including essential services for nutrition, routine immunization and healthcare for mothers and children, improving access to distance learning and safer schools, helping set up systems and expanding child protection and social protection interventions.




Journalist: Filomeno Martins 

Editor: Nelia Borges 


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