The Women’s Health & Social Care program, largely funded by the Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART), also keeps up a frenetic pace.
Regular visits to five communities in the districts of Timor-Leste have resumed, leading Women’s Clubs in each. A sixth community is being added, by popular demand: a tiny, remote community on Atauro Island that invited the team and welcomed them with a crowd of fifty! The group were delighted to meet our team, who arrived by boat and led them in discussions about women’s health including taboo topics such as family planning, sexual health and gender-based violence. Our midwife, Windy, has also been checking in on the pregnant mothers along the way.
Led by Sidalia Do Rego, the team includes Windy Anggreany, crisis care worker Maria Lucia, health worker Francisca Barros and driver Jose Antonio S Marcal. The move away from Bairo Pite Clinic has meant the program needed to be adapted, so considerable effort has gone into reworking the design and structure of the activities. Partnerships are being developed with local clinics and hospitals in Dili to allow the team to support at-risk women through crisis care, and post-natal home visits.
Expansion of the mentoring program for Community Birth Attendants – unpaid community health workers in remote and isolated districts who safeguard the health of the pregnant women and new mothers of their villages – is underway, with a three-day refresher training being hosted at Maluk Timor next week. Two more midwives are soon to be hired, and the team is looking forward to a busy 2018.