More capacity in place to tackle Malaria in Timor-Leste

More capacity in place to tackle Malaria in Timor-Leste

Malaria, a disease without borders, has recently received a boost here in Timor- Leste. With an additional 62 personnel recruited to work in the country's malaria control programme, districts and sub-districts in Timor Leste will now have the resources to tackle this disease.

"The control programme was challenged up until now due to a lack of human resources but today we are more confident that with these district and regional malaria officers and the assistants on board, we will have the basic tools to carry out an effective control programme," said Dr Nelson Martin, Minister of Health of the IV Constitutional Government.

These individuals received an intensive month long training recently which taught them about the way malaria is transmitted, how to carry out proper diagnosis and treatment as well as the effective management of the mosquito.

In addition, 80 existing analysts with the malaria control programme attended a two-week refresher training session on Malaria microscopy to further improve their diagnostic capabilities.

This is just the first of many crucial interventions taken by the Ministry of Health, with the financial assistance of The Global Fund and technical expertise of the World Health Organization, to address the country's Malaria situation. There are annually over 100,000 reported cases of Malaria and children under the age of five years are usually the victims to this disease.

"Malaria is a preventable disease and sleeping under a long-lasting insecticidal net is one way of keeping away the diseases. It's also curable, but those on medication must complete the entire course in order to recover completely," said Dr Paramita Sudharto, the World Health Organization's representative in Timor-Leste.

Malaria thrives in coastal landscapes and forested areas however it is endemic throughout this country. It particularly affects pregnant women, children under the age of five, remote groups, urban poor, mobile populations, young adults and border communities.

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