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Our Timor Leste Partnerships 2009

Health education collaboration to improve critical care in Timor Leste to Timor Leste for a ‘scoping visit’ with Dili National Hospital and Ministry of Health staff. “We spoke to Timor health officials and they indicated that their workforce needed to undergo skills training especially in emergency, trauma and intensive care,” said Dilhani. “They also indicated a need to incorporate these critical care skills into an ongoing and longer-term clinical skills training plan and we are working with the Ministry of Health to formulate an ongoing development plan for wider critical care skills training,” she said. Sydney Medical School, AusAID’s Public Sector Linkages Program (PSLP) and the University’s International Program Development Fund (IPDF) support the Critical Care Capacity Building initiative.

Timor Leste’s Ministry of Health, the National Hospital of Guido Valadares and the Institute of Health Sciences in Dili have joined forces with the University of Sydney to improve the capacity of the critical care workforce in Timor Leste. A total of 27 participants, including 4 doctors and 21 nurses from Dili National Hospital and two staff members from the Institute of Health Sciences in Dili, took part in a specially developed Critical Care Skills workshop at Dili National Hospital in June. Dr Dilhani Bandaranayake, Manager International Relations at Sydney Medical School’s Office for Global Health, was the coordinator of the program. “The workshop was a real team effort with eight University of Sydney affiliated doctors and nurses from Sydney Medical School, Northern Clinical School, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery and ICU

Critical Care Collaboration aims to: • Develop and implement an evidence-based practical skills focused critical care (emergency trauma and intensive care) training program for health professionals; • Develop and implement an educators’ workshop to teach Timorese clinicians/ educators how to develop and run similar workshops; • Formulate an ongoing sustainable education development plan for nationwide critical care skills training in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Dili National Hospital, the Institute of Health Sciences, regional hospitals, community health services and other relevant organisations in Timor Leste. • The Office for Global Health hopes to secure funds to support similar initiatives helping meet the health objectives of our neighbours.

at Royal North Shore Hospital providing specialist advice for development of the program and tutoring during the workshop,” said Dilhani. According to Dilhani, the University’s approach to teaching, while new to the participants, proved extremely effective. “The Timorese participants are used to a very traditional didactic method of teaching and learning but they responded very positively to the teaching techniques used by the tutors which were based on the ‘tell, show, do’ and case scenario methods,” said Dilhani.

“This workshop has been a real success but it is only step one. In addition to the ‘Teach-the-Teacher’ workshop and a second critical care workshop in November this year, we hope to expand this program to the regional (district) referral hospitals in Timor and will apply for more funding to do so,” said Dilhani. “We also intend to apply for funding to expand this program to cover paediatric critical care since the program this year focused on the critically ill adult patient,” she said. Michelle Wood

“A practical and hands-on approach to teaching and learning is much more effective in retaining and refreshing knowledge and skills and that is why we will be conducting a ‘Teach-the-Teacher’ workshop when we return to Timor in November, to assist in making this a sustainable program” she said. The need for a skills based training program focusing on critical care was identified in July 2008 when members of Sydney Medical School traveled

The University of Sydney Critical Care Education team.

CRITICAL CARE EDUCATION TEAM: Dr Lyndal Trevena - Associate Dean (International) & Director, Office for Global Health; Dr Dilhani Bandaranayake - Manager, International Relations, Office for Global Health; Dr Kirsty Foster - Sub Dean (Education) and Senior Lecturer in Medical Education, Northern Clinical School; Dr Roger Harris - Intensive Care & Emergency Medicine Specialist, Royal North Shore Hospital; Dr Andrea Marshall - Sesqui Senior Lecturer Critical Care Nursing, Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery; Dr Anthony Delaney - Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine Specialist, Royal North Shore Hospital; Rebecca Riordan - Nursing Unit Manager, ICU, Royal North Shore Hospital; Leila Kuzmiuk - Clinical Nurse Educator, ICU, Royal North Shore Hospital.

Looking to the future Expansion of the Critical Care Education Program: The Office for Global Health has received an International Program Development Fund Advanced grant from the University of Sydney to strengthen existing strategic collaborative relationships with the National Hospital and Ministry of Health in Timor Leste as well as establish new linkages with district referral hospitals and community health centres. This will be achieved by developing and implementing a basic paediatric critical care skills component to complement the adult critical care component of the program as well as beginning the roll out of the critical care training program to include up-skilling of health staff in the districts. The expansion of the critical care education program will also be co-funded by Sydney Medical School and the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery.

Photo on front cover: Ms Manuela Pereira with her ALAF mentor Hon Professor Geoff Gallop AC.


Building capacity in health leadership in Timor Leste skills to manage the ministerial office in an efficient and effective manner,” said Ms Pereira. “Once I return to my home land, I will do my best to implement what I have learned in Australia in order to perform well and speed up the procedures in the Minister’s Office,” she said. Dr Lucio F Babo Soares, a senior dentist with a focus in community dentistry and management, completed his 12-week program in Indigenous community and dental services in Walgett and Dubbo, and also met with dentistry research groups.

Fellows with Professor Bruce Robinson and HE Mr Abel Guterres (Consul General for Timor Leste).

“I believe that the particular activities I have completed during this Fellowship have made a huge contribution in upgrading my skills and knowledge as a dentist. I will use them to develop the health system and services in my own country.” Dr Lucio Babo Soares (Dentist) The Timor Leste Health Leaders Program is a new and exciting initiative of the Office for Global Health, part of Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney. It was established with the aim of building health capacity in a country facing significant health challenges and lacking enough trained health professionals. The Office for Global Health secured funding this year for the program through AusAID’s Australian Leadership Award Fellowship (ALAF) program. The first Timor Leste Fellows to participate already occupy significant roles in their country’s health system. The six Fellows were selected via an application and interview process from an outstanding pool of candidates, which identified them as Timor Leste’s current, and potential future leaders in health care, health education, health policy and health management. “The Timor Leste Health Leaders Program is a 6-12 week program designed to provide Fellows with

The Timor Leste Health Leaders Program Fellows 2009 Mr Joaquim F Soares - Director, Klibur Domin Tibar (Rehabilitation Centre) Dr Lucio F Babo Soares - Senior Dentist, Centro Community Health Centre Ms Manuela M S Pereira - Chief of Staff for the Minister of Health, Ministry of Health Mr Maximiano Neno - Director, Oecusse District Hospital Mr Moises Andrade - Nursing Director, Maubisse District Hospital Mr Augusto Joaquim Pinto - Head, Human Resources Development, Ministry of Health

“I believe that the particular activities I have completed during this Fellowship have made a huge contribution in upgrading my skills and knowledge as a dentist. I will use them to develop the health system and services in my own country,” said Dr Soares.

practical and hands-on experience,’ said Dr Dilhani Bandaranayake, Manager International Relations at Sydney Medical School’s Office for Global Health. “The emphasis with this program is to build incountry capacity so, with that in mind, each individual Fellow has a specific program designed for him or her to ensure they are placed in relevant institutions and organisations.” “We want to make sure they have practical placements so that they can learn methods, theories, techniques and approaches that can be implemented in Timor and which they can then use to train and lead others when they return home,” she said.

Augusto Pinto and Dr Lyndal Tevena.

“Five of the six Fellows have already completed the Leaders Program in Australia and the final Fellow is currently undergoing his Fellowship. According to Dilhani, the feedback has been very positive. Ms Manuela Pereira, Chief of Staff for the Minister of Health in Timor, completed her 12-week program with the Graduate School of Government as well as the Office for the Minister for Health in NSW and the Department of Health. “I believe that by the end of my training I have been able to achieve what I have been dreaming of, which is to be a good Chief of Staff who has great

Lucio Babo Soares and one of his ALAF mentors Dr Sandra Meihubers.

Looking to the future Health Leaders Fellowship Program: A call for candidates for the 2010 Timor Leste Health Leaders Fellowship program has gone out via the Timorese Ministry of Health. Applicants will be interviewed by a University of Sydney team in early November 2009 and potential candidates will be selected for nomination. These candidates will be put forward for AusAID Australian Leadership Award Fellowship funding (via an Office for Global Health application).


Sydney Medical School scholarships for Timor Leste “Every day hundreds of patients come in but we lack the health professionals— particularly doctors—to look after them.” Noeno Anuno Sarmento Sydney Medical School has two Timor Leste students studying Medicine under the Sydney Medical School sponsored scholarship scheme for students from Timor Leste. The scholarships include full tuition and living allowances for the duration of the Medical Program (up to five years). This is part of an MOU signed between the University of Sydney and the Timor Leste Government. The MOU was signed by Timor Leste’s Ambassador to Australia, HE Mr Hernani Coelho, the Dean of Sydney Medical School, Professor Bruce Robinson and the University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor International, Professor John Hearn. Diana Vieira and Noeno Anuno Sarmento .

The initiative came from Professor Bruce Robinson. “As the major provider of health and medical education and training in Australia, the University of Sydney is committed to assisting with health care education and delivery in our region, especially in one of its poorest nations,” says Professor Robinson. “Training doctors is a very practical way of helping improve people’s quality of life. Our aim is to eventually train a specialist workforce who have the skills and understanding to lead a first class health care system in Timor Leste”. Diana Vieira and Noeno Anuno Sarmento are the first two Timorese medical students under the scholarship scheme. When he returns home to Timor Leste, Noeno plans to work at the busy and under-resourced national hospital in Dili. “Every day hundreds of patients come in but we lack the health professionals - particularly doctors - to look after them,” he explains. His colleague Diana Vieira would like to use her new found skills to cut the number of preventable deaths. “Too many people die from easily treated diseases such as malaria, TB and respiratory infections,” she explains, “and too many women and children die at childbirth”.

Endeavour Executive Award Dr Dilhani Bandaranayake from the Office for Global Health has been awarded an Australian Government Endeavour Executive Award which enables her to undertake a 6 week professional and personal development placement in Timor Leste. The Endeavour Executive Awards are one of the Australian Government’s internationally competitive, merit based programs that provide individuals with a unique opportunity to undertake professional development and enable collaboration within the region. During her time in Timor Leste, Dilhani will be working closely with Dili National Hospital and the Ministry of Health. She will also be visiting the district referral hospitals to foster linkages for future collaborative programs. Dilhani is also hoping to begin learning the local language (Tetum) and is looking forward to the challenge and opportunity.

Outgoing University of Sydney Elective and Option students to Timor Leste Sydney Medical School has a number of key partnerships in Timor-Leste, particularly with the Ministry of Health and the National Hospital in Dili. Several of our students have also completed placements at the Bairo Pite Clinic and the Klibur Domin facility. In 2010, Sydney Medical School will continue to be involved in health workforce training and development in Timor Leste through AusAid funded projects. Students in the medical program will hopefully be able to participate actively in these and other initiatives.

Office for Global Health The Office for Global Health is part of Sydney Medical School and aims to internationalise the research we undertake, the experience of our students and staff, and our approaches to learning and teaching. We also aim to contribute to the health and wellbeing of our region by engaging in health projects with some of our nearest neighbors. Find out more about the activities of our office by visiting our website.

Office for Global Health Timor Leste contact Dr Dilhani Bandaranayake is the Manager – International Relations with responsibility for Timor Leste. Dilhani first went to Timor Leste in 2008 and although her association has not been long she has developed a ‘soft spot’ for the country. Her love for the country and it’s people grows with every visit and she is proud to have been involved in initiating the Office for Global Health’s programs in Timor Leste. Dilhani is responsible for developing key strategic relationships in Timor Leste in regards to research and innovation, teaching and learning, the student experience and community engagement. Dilhani also provides advice to Sydney Medical School including information on current and potential partners, funding and research opportunities. Dilhani’s portfolio also covers: South and South East Asia, the Pacific and Europe. Email:

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Our Timor Leste Partnerships 2009 Michelle Wood Photo on front cover: Ms Manuela Pereira with her ALAF mentor Hon Professor Geoff Gallop AC....