Becoming an expert in Rheumatic heart disease enables kids to grow old

My Name is Juliana dos Santos Sarmentu, I am a 29-year-old nurse from the city of Bacau, Timor-Leste. I studied nursing in Indonesia and then returned to live in Dili.

I joined the Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) team at Maluk Timor in October 2019. I’m so glad to have the opportunity to work together with the RHD team, because I believe in the programs objective to help people who live with RHD in Timor-Leste.

This job is important to me because I have learnt a lot of things to increase my knowledge of RHD especially about treatment and prevention.

I enjoy the interaction with the patients every day in clinics. This job seems really simple from the outside, because it focuses on giving injections, something all nurses can do. But for me it’s very special because I get to bring back their smiles, take away the pain that they feel, and help many children to continue their study and reach their dreams in the future.


I also enjoy mentoring the Ministry of Health (MoH) doctors and nurses about RHD. One of my favourite parts of the job is collaboration with MoH staff to provide best care and how to give the safe injections for their RHD patients. Other than that, I also like mentoring and giving training to MoH doctors and nurses to provide education about RHD and ARF.


Written by Ricardo Flavio and Juliana

Help us do even more

Even though healthcare in Timor-Leste has improved, there is still so much more to do.  

A small amount of money goes a long way with the per person health budget less than US$100 per year. 


Covers the cost of petrol for a month so a healthcare worker can provide home visits around Dili.

$58 p/month

in 12 months

Covers the cost of running a nutrition referral project in one community healthcare centre.

$650 p/month

Covers the full cost to employ a nurse who can help deliver our programs.