Needs Assessment Visit by Peak Hill team to Timor Leste – August 2015

With a view to the Parkes and Forbes Shire Councils and Lachlan Health District initiative of surplus hospital equipment being made available to East Timor Alina Prego, Lucinda Windeatt, Geoff and Vivienne Steventon and Bill Shallvey took the opportunity to visit Same Hosppital, Wedaurberek and Weberek Clinics in East Timor.

Map – Here is a map of the area that was assessed by the Para Marcia Team in August 2015

Same, Weberek and Wedauberek are all on the south coast of Timor Leste. These two clinics and Hospital support the health care needs for the surrounding villages. Following is an assessment of the facilities and needs. It is much more economical to asses what the clinics do have rather than what they don’t have because they seem to have very little indeed.

Same Hospital

Same is the only “hospital” in the area but it is hardly suitable to be called a hospital by Australian standards. Our team found the staff at Same very friendly and professional. The Hospital in Same has very basic equipment consisting of an old sterilisation machine and an examination table that was not adjustable. The hospital bed was very outdated and not height adjustable. The mattress well used. The bedside table very rudimentary and old. Hospital facilities of toilets, showers and kitchen again rudimentary and unhygienic. There was little evidence of antiseptics, brushes, towels and other basic hygiene essentials. Same Hospital has electrical power but we can’t comment on reliability or consistency of supply.

Wedauberek Clinic

Is a more modern building with additional facilities adjacent and appear better staffed. Again the resident doctor was very interested in the work Para Marcia do. Immunization clinics now held regularly. Generally the examination tables are outdated and hospital facilities lacking in secure storage. Auxiliary equipment is old and rusty. Again power is connected but the supply and reliability is not known. Surplus maintenance equipment should not be excluded from consideration. Ride-on mowers etc. would be of great assistance in discouraging livestock grazing and mosquito habitat that surrounds the building, access ways and un-gauzed windows,

Weberek Clinic

This Clinic is more modern than the hospital in Same – although the installation of toilets, sinks, lights etc. is offset by the fact that at the time of construction there was no thought to provision of water or power supply!!! While Peak Hill Team have managed to get a water tank and pipeline to the clinic, villagers regular interfering with supply lead to periods of no water availability. There is no power to Weberek village or the hospital and it is unknown if or when that is likely to occur. It would appear that Weberek is a very low priority due to the isolation and small population. Generally the clinic is clean but lacks even the basic office, accommodation and medical equipment. There is generally one doctor posted to the clinic although support staff is at this time unreliable. There is a severe shortage of ambulances and support staff particularly for Wedaurberek and Weberek. The ambulances stationed elsewhere can be unreliable through lack of staffing, poor maintenance and shortage of tyres, etc. In fact there is generally only one vehicle of any description in Weberek Para Marcia staff.