Maluk Timor is successful in its application in the inaugural round of Australian Aid: Friendship Grants – the Nursing Triage Program to be expanded.

On 30 November 2018 the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, announced the successful applicants for the inaugural round of Australian Aid: Friendship Grants. The grants fund the delivery of activities in a range if sectors, including health care, and the activities address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. see link

Following the success of the implementation of the outpatient triage program at one of Dili’s larger health centres, Maluk Timor applied for a grant to help roll the program out to a further 3 government-run Community Health Centres in Dili.

The government health centres in which we work see hundreds of patients without a triage system in place. Patients are simply seen in order of arrival which means a sickly child dying of pneumonia might wait many hours before being seen by a nurse or doctor.

This problem was recognised by our partners in the Ministry of Health and they invited Maluk Timor to establish a triage system in their health centres”

Dr Jeremy explained the implementation of the system: “Led by Nurse Lauren, our team of nurse trainers designed a coloured card system and spent several months implementing it at one of the larger health centres. The health centre nurses were trained and mentored, and fairly soon the system was humming along.  A key component of the system is the recording of vital signs (pulse, temperature, blood pressure, etc.), which had only been done erratically in the past.

Another key element was the measuring of all children for malnutrition: we found that 19% of the children attending had either moderate or severe malnutrition, and we were able to refer these children for nutritional support and education (aided by our Malnutrition Program).

Additionally, by intentionally screening everyone for chronic cough the numbers of patients identified with TB also increased. And of course the sickest patients were seen most urgently.”

The Friendship grant will fund the implementation of the outpatient triage system in 3 government-run Community Health Centres and see at least 50% of the nurses trained. These nurses will in turn train other local nurses.

This model empowers local staff, builds patient confidence and provides timely, high-quality primary health care – transforming the way that almost a third of the population access primary health care and becoming he template for health centres across Timor Leste.

Maluk Timor is grateful for the Australian Government’s support in assisting it to work within and alongside government facilities and programs to improve the quality and reach of these services.

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