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USAID and Government of Timor-Leste celebrate successful conclusion of Health Sustainability Project

USAID and Government of Timor-Leste celebrate successful conclusion of Health Sustainability Project

Image Tatoli/Francisco Sony

DILI, 14 june 2024 (TATOLI) – Today, the USAID Health System Sustainability Activity in Timor-Leste celebrated achievements and held a closing ceremony.  In attendance was Vice Prime Minister Mariano Assanami Sabino, Minister of Health dr. Élia António de Araújo dos Reis Amaral, U.S. Embassy Timor-Leste Chargé d’Affaires Marc A. Weinstock, and other key officials, donors, and community stakeholders.  The event also featured the Activity’s launch of two key documents: “Health Financing and Public Financial Management in Timor-Leste: A Glossary,” and the “Health Management Information System Guideline.”

The Activity is USAID’s flagship US$17.2 million health initiative to promote a sustainable, self-financed health system in Timor-Leste.  Over the past four years, the USAID Health System Sustainability Activity made significant contributions to strengthening Timor-Leste’s health system in financing, governance, and service delivery.  Key achievements include the advancement of health system governance, establishment of a Health Financing Unit (HFU) to oversee the Timor-Leste Health Financing Strategy, and creation of the Health Management Information System (HMIS) Technical Working Group to ensure ongoing data quality improvement.

“The successes of the USAID Health System Sustainability Activity were achieved through close collaboration with the Ministry of Health, development partners, FONGTIL, CSOs, community leaders, and community members,” said U.S. Embassy Timor-Leste Chargé d’Affaires Marc A. Weinstock.  “The United States remains dedicated to addressing Timor-Leste’s development challenges by enhancing human capacity, expanding workforce development, and strengthening health governance and sustainability.”

The Activity also improved data-driven decision-making by enhancing capacity to produce and use quality data, resulting in a significant increase in timeliness and completeness of data reporting across 13 municipalities.  To address organizational management issues within the Ministry of Health (MOH), the Activity partnered with St. John of God International Health (SJGIH) to implement a leadership development program for MOH and National Institute of Public Health (INSP-TL) directors.

In health workforce management, the Activity developed over 40 job descriptions and performance evaluation manuals to promote competency- and merit-based human resources management.  The Timor-Leste Medical Association (AMTL), supported by the Activity, collaborated with the MOH to establish the country’s first competency standards and code of ethics for medical doctors.

The Activity expanded community-based health monitoring by establishing village health assemblies in 19 villages, facilitating community dialogue and developing local action plans for social behavior change initiatives. It also mobilized civic engagement and advocacy by supporting the creation of Rede Ba Saúde Timor-Leste (REBAS-TL), the nation’s first health civil society organization (CSO) network, now a core partner to the MOH.

Additionally, the Activity accelerated access to COVID-19 vaccinations, partnering with the MOH and Hamutuk Nasaun Saudável (HAMNASA) to administer over 80,000 vaccine doses in municipalities with low vaccination uptake.

Through USAID, the United States Embassy to Timor-Leste is contributing nearly US$92 million between 2021 and 2025, bolstering Timor-Leste’s economy and promoting good governance.  Since Timor-Leste’s independence, USAID has contributed over US$323 million, fostering inclusive and peaceful development for a more prosperous, healthy, and self-reliant nation.

 

Journalist: Camilio de Sousa

Editor: Filomeno Martins

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