Rheumatic Heart Disease

Finding and treating those children most at risk

Enabling early detection and access to treatment


We are currently supporting the ministry of health by running the national database of RHD patients, helping manage the 347 current patients living with RHD in Timor-Leste. A treatment program can last up to 10 years.

What are we doing?

Support access to treatment via our Penicillin Program

Every week our nurses collaborate with Ministry of Health doctors and nurses to ensure access to life saving penicillin. 

We are also promoting early detection through screening and access to echocardiogram

We are:

Conduct 13 mentoring trips per year

Develop national guidelines

We created the guidelines that ministry has now adopted as their official  guidelines have been approved and adopted by the Timorese Institute of Health. 

They are being used to help model a new national program.

Our guidelines have been

Officially approved for use in Timor-Leste

Training and Mentoring

Using our approved RHD guidelines we are working with the Ministry of Health to  to implement RHD training for doctors and nurses across Timor Leste.

This training will improve early detection and access to appropriate care including life saving antibiotics

We will

Launch this training in 2022

Cardiac Clinic

Working with East Timor Hearts Fund we provide Cardiac Clinics that give  patients access to  the same quality of expertise that is available in Australia, but with local cultural considerations. The Clinics are currently held via video conferencing.

So far we have:

Run 3 clinics per year

Referral to surgery in Australia

 When a patient is identified as needing surgery because of RHD, we help with visas, logistics and ensuring that the patient has smooth transport.

We do this incredible work  in partnership East Timor Heart’s fund.


So far we have:

Supported more than 20 RHD patients to get surgery in Australia

Community Engagment

Our team works with local health staff to build community awareness and engagement. This is critical to promoting RHS action 

We will:

Launch our first event in 2022

How your donation helps

A little goes a long way to improving health in Timor-Leste
Benzotine Penicillin


The cost of a benzocaine penicillin dose from Australia. Benzocaine is less painful for the patient than the currently available powdered penicillin.

RHD Doctor


Covers the cost of a local doctor in our RHD mentoring program.

RHD Nurse

$650 /m

Covers the cost of the salary for one of our  RHD nurses.

What's next?

Grow our current RHD program to give the gift of good health to even more children. 

It currently costs around $100,000 a year to provide the current RHD service. 

In the future we would like to further develop training on the national guidelines, fund an echocardiography training (with Menzies School of Research)  program, support research and develop audio-visual community education resources. 

Who we work with on this program?

Timor-Leste Ministry of Health
East Timor Hearts Fund
Menzies school of health research
Little Lives

The rheumatic heart disease team


Sidónia Lucinda Ximenes

Rheumatic Heart Disease Nurse