KOICA  provides an additional grant worth $6 million to strengthen health systems in TL

KOICA  provides an additional grant worth $6 million to strengthen health systems in TL

Photo Tatoli/Francisco Sony

DILI, 16 march 2023 (TATOLI)—Timor-Leste Ministry of Finance and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) have signed a $6 million grant support for the Strengthening Preparedness and Response to infectious diseases project in Timor-Leste for 2023 – 2026.

The agreement was signed by the Director of KOICA, Eunju Cha with the Minister of Finance, Rui Gomes who was accompanied by Representatives of the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO).

KOICA is providing approximately $6 million to finance a project implemented in partnership between the Ministry of Health and WHO from 2023 to 2026 to strengthen the communicable disease preparedness and outbreak response system in Timor-Leste.

“As we have learned from the lessons of COVID-19, preparedness, response, information, and coordination are key components for identifying and overcoming infectious diseases, and this grant is intended to contribute to these components,” Minister of Finance Rui Gomes said in remarks at the auditóriu Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão conference room, in Aitarak loan, this thusday.

According to Gomes, the project will focus on strengthening the capacity of the health sector at the national, municipal, and local health facility levels, including introducing a web-based system to provide real-time information that will be critical in quickly addressing potential outbreaks of infectious diseases when they occur.

In addition, the project will work to secure the TL border from incoming diseases by strengthening the health screening system at six state-designated entry points.

“By doing so, we can increase program coverage and reduce disease and death rates,” said Deputy Minister of Health, Boni fácio Mau Coli dos Reis.

The program will also establish a field epidemiology training program within the INS (Instituto Nacional de Saúde), which will be an essential component for strengthening the healthcare system and the capacities of frontline healthcare workers, who are tirelessly supporting populations against the spread of infectious diseases.

Deputy Head of Mission of the South Korean Embassy in TL, Jinum Hong, and a Representative of the South Korean Ambassador said KOICA, as a Korean development agency, had worked very closely with Timor-Leste in the fields of health, education, and economic development since Timor-Leste’s independence.

“The health sector is our top priority, and we are committed to supporting Timor-Leste’s National Health Sector Strategic Plan 2011-2030 with a vision for people to enjoy a level of health that allows people to develop their potential in a healthy environment,” he said.

The Republic of Korea has supported the government of Timor-Leste with important health interventions, including for NTDs (neglected tropical diseases), Tuberculosis, and school health & school feeding.

This opportunity marked the second health-related project grant. The first health-related grant was Say No To 5S (Hunger, Soil-Transmitted Worms, Skin Diseases, Smoking and Sugary/Alcoholic Beverages) with a US$7.8 million grant aimed at improving the health and nutrition of more than 300,000 school children -children all over the country,” he said.



Journalist: José Belarmino De Sá

Editor: Nelia B.


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