TB Program

Working together to EndTB through identification and education

Using tracing, triage, and training to fight this entirely preventable disease

Despite being all but eradicated in the developed world, Turburculosis (TB) is still one of the country’s biggest killers. 

Timor-Leste has the highest rate of death from TB in the world. 

What are we doing?

TB Tracing and Referral

We screen family and household contacts of TB patients to help identify cases and refer confirmed cases for a TB specific antibiotic treatment schedule. If the risk is high enough, we also refer close contacts for preventative treatment at a community health centres. 

We also work together with local laboratories to screen samples using GeneXpert testing to identify Multi-Drug Resistant TB which requires special care.

In 2021 we:

Identified 1,202 household contacts for preventative treatment

Multi Drug Resistance TB Progam

Treatment of multi drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) requires a long and complex regimen of drugs with multiple side effects. Patients also suffer from stigma in a society and fear.  

We educate previous patients as TB Champions to educate, counsel and support MDR-TB patients when newly diagnosed and throughout their whole treatment. 

Our peer counsellors travel to the patient’s home (with consent) to provide education to their family members on TB, in order to assist adherence of TB treatment and to conduct contact tracing.

So far we have:

Provided MDR TB screening across 3 districts

Cough Triage Training

We teach each nurses to identify and screen patients presenting to hospitals with chest symptoms. Better screening allows us to  will determine if the person if suspect TB.

Patients who are at risk of having airborne infectious disease such as TB or COVID are separated from other patients in a “cough corner” treated by healthcare workers using a higher level of personal protective equipment

So far we have agreed:

To create cough corners in all 6 public hospitals

TB education and counselling

We screen family and household contacts of TB patients to help identify cases and refer confirmed cases for a TB specific antibiotic treatment schedule. If the risk is high enough, we also refer close contacts for preventative treatment at a community health centres. 

We also work in collaboration with local laboratories to screen samples using 

In 2021 we:

Educated 133 community members on MDR-TB

Systems improvement

Together with the Timor-Leste Ministry of health we are always looking at ways of improving systems to better mangage TB in the healtcare system. 

A key element of systems improvement has been the implementation of a referall feedback mechanism that ensures that patients get better care when their case is passed between healthcare providers in different locations.

So far we are:

Implemented enhanced referrals in all 6 public hospitals

Who we work with on this program?

Timor-Leste Ministry of Health
Global Fund
Jon Burge Trust

The TB team

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Zelia Gusmão da Costa

Junior Healthcare Worker (TB)
I feel that my communication and approach has become more effective and safe when attending TB patients.
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Octavia do Rosario Gusmão dos Santos

TB Healthcare Worker
I am hoping that I could contribute more for the improvement of the healthcare system in Timor.
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Leopoldina (Dina) Maria Joana Freitas

TB Healthcare Worker
I’m so proud and happy that I can contribute and create change for TB patients.
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Belmerio Jeronimo

TB Programme Manager
At MT I have the opportunity for more challenges, more opportunities to learn new things!
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Octaviano Nono

TB Junior Healthcare Worker (Oecusse)
I’m honoured to work with our program because we share our knowledge to the community, so that they can understand more about TB.

How your donation helps

A little goes a long way to improving health in Timor-Leste
Doctors Bag*

$25

A good doctors bag is essential, and this is all it takes to provide one to our graduate doctors

Intensive association workshops

$100

over 12 months

This covers training a future “role model doctor” through the Family Training Program

Doctor Training

$94 /m

over 12 months

This covers training a future “role model doctor” through the Family Training Program