We have found that instead of having to spend energy on some non-core things, we can now focus entirely on improving the quality and the quantity of care being provided to the beautiful people of Timor-Leste across what is now 9 different programs by working with the organisations responsible for that care most importantly being the Ministry of Health of Timor-Leste.
As these other organisations are responsible into the future for delivering the care in each of these sectors it means that what we are doing now is inherently sustainable which is one of those most significant of questions everyone in the philanthropic world is always asked. Each of Maluk Timor’s program has projects within it and each project seems to offer so many positive benefits that we have enormous competition for funds and difficulty prioritizing one project within a program over another and one program over another.
Each program has a Sub Committee and a Chair of that Sub Committee made up of Timorese and international members all passionate about their program and the internationals are almost all pro bono except from some in country Doctors on lower than cost of living wages. Each Program also has a designated Program Lead and so each Program has focus and energy to make a difference.
The Programs are listed on the Website and have been discussed in our Newsletters.
We are very excited about the coming year but daunted by the amount of work to be done.
Each of Maluk Timor’s workstreams takes quite a few people to deliver and uses up consumables and other costs and so none of it can occur without your funding.
Just one story as an example. Our malnutrition team has been triaging the children attending a small local Ministry of Health Community Health Centre (CHC). In April there were 49 children identified as MAM and SAM i.e. moderately or severely acutely malnourished. One month later all of these children were meant to be followed up as they had been put on a feeding regime to help them regain some weight. 31 of them were lost to follow up which means that over 60% of the malnourished children were not seen again.
How can this happen? It seems there is only one car for all the services of outreach from the one CHC and so the malnutrition team from that centre cannot get out enough car access to track the families and then there is no phone credit (Pulsar) for the staff because the Ministry has no money for that so if the staff are going to phone the patients they have to use their own Pulsar and then some of the parents of the children didn’t understand how critical it was to come back. Some of the children do not gain weight so what was the point of taking them back in the minds of the parents as the advice they were given didn’t work!
So many problems need addressing to save the lives of these children and no one is there to support the CHC’s insufficiently trained staff to try to do better which is why we’re aiming to focus on helping the staff at all of Dili’s, and later all of T-L’s, CHCs to do a better job of following up these dangerously ill children who are so susceptible to “crashing” if they catch an infectious illness like diarrhoea or vomiting.
For us to work with all of the CHCs will take lots of well trained staff and lots of time and we will need the funds to do that.
That is just one small story of one project in the malnutrition program which is one of 9 programmes.