Helping Timor-Leste beat its largest health problems

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We focus on local capacity building, systems strengthening, training and support to provide a sustainable pathway to tackle 8 key health problems facing Timor-Leste today…


School children affected by this entirely preventable disease

1. Finding, treating and preventing Rheumatic Heart Disease

Demonstrated in 2016 to have one of the highest rates of RHD in the world, with as many as 1 child in every classroom affected in some groups, this preventable disease continues to kill children, young adults and especially pregnant mothers. We are leading the way in screening for affected school children, ensuring they receive lifesaving penicillin treatment or surgery, as well as educating communities about the prevention of rheumatic heart disease.

2. Stopping the household spread of Tuberculosis

Timor-Leste has one of the highest rates of tuberculosis in Asia, with half of all active cases remaining undiagnosed. Young children often become infected in infancy, often with fatal consequences.

Our experienced team TB Timorese health care workers are supporting the MoH and NGO partners in delivering quality TB care. This includes pioneering work in expanding household contact tracing of positive cases and commencing exposed children on preventative treatment.


Of the country has latent TB


Increase in HIV cases year on year

3. Managing the HIV and AIDS epidemic

 Increasing numbers of cases of HIV infection are being identified in  Timor-Leste each week. The country is unprepared for this evolving epidemic. A new centre of excellence in partnership with MoH and the National AIDS Program is being built at Vera Cruz CHC, which will become the key training site for Timorese Doctors and counsellors in HIV care.


4. Building strong women for a strong nation

In a country with high levels of domestic violence, unplanned pregnancy and gender inequality, many Timorese women are trapped in disadvantage, often having seven or more children without the means to raise them. Other than the social difficulties this involves, it is driving many of the major health problems of the nation. Working with the Humanitarian Aid & Relief Trust, we will expand our outreach program to the districts, forming new womens groups to educate and empower Timorese women on maternal health, gender-based violence and crisis care support.


of women with partners aged 15-49 have experience physical or sexual violence in their relationships


Children stunded in growth and development

5. Reducing Malnutrition by catching them before they fall

Timor- Leste has one of the highest malnutrition rates in the world with thousands of children dying each year, and 58% of children stunted in their growth and development, with lifelong consequences.
We are working with government clinics to identify malnutrition before it becomes life-threatening and supporting them in education, counselling and re-feeding.

6. Dental health for the next generation

Our dental nurses, supervised and trained by international dentists, will be providing dental care and taking their messages about oral health into the schools and wider community.

dentists for all of Timor-Leste, thats less than one for every 180,000 people

7. Training Timorese Doctors

Close to one thousand junior Timorese doctors have been educated in classrooms but have almost no opportunities in further clinical training. An undertrained doctor can lead to a wrong diagnosis, a wrong treatment, and a fatal outcome.
In partnership with the Royal Australian College of Surgeons, we are delivering the only accredited training for General Practice in Timor-Leste. We hope to expand this program and involve all training doctors in the clinical programs led by Maluk Timor.

8. Training Timorese nurses and midwives

Every area of the health sector in Timor-Leste has a need for skills training and clinical support. Nursing and midwifery are two of the fundamental professions delivering health that needs to be supported and improved. Maluk Timor equip our teams of Timorese trainers in nursing and midwifery to work shoulder to shoulder with their colleagues in raising the standard of care across the Community health Centres (CHC’s) of Dili district, and ultimately in health centres across the country.

Maluk Timor works shoulder to shoulder with Timorese clinicians to save lives and strengthen local health services.

The Maluk Timor team recognised that front-line medical care was no longer the best way we could help Timor develop a top quality health care system. 

Our commitment:

  • Investing in people

  • Strengthening health services

  • Engaging the community

Timor-Leste is a young nation with a traumatic past. The wounds are healing, and we hold great hope for the future, but this is still a place where children die for lack of food, and where diseases that we’ve all but forgotten still run rampant.
The Timorese health system is growing fast but developing a quality health service requires time, expertise and unwavering commitment. Maluk Timor has been invited to bring that expertise and commitment into partnership with the Timorese Ministry of Health and other NGO partners to help this nation meet its greatest health challenges.

Latest news from the ground in Timor-Leste

Sadly, TL is vulnerable to an HIV epidemic

Sadly, TL is vulnerable to a HIV epidemic. There is still so much to be done working on the frontline in the fight against HIV. It is a space MALUK is passionate about and has a lot of clinical expertise in. Program leader Mana Dircia and HCW counsellor Maun Ano are...

A glimpses of the future in Dentistry

A glimpses of the future. Dr Inda, a young Timorese dental professional was trained in the Philippines, mentored by Aussies dentists for a few years in her early career is now developing material and delivering dental training to our Timorese Family Medicine GP...