APHN-Lien Collaborative: Empowering Palliative Care in Timor Leste through Strategic Partnerships and Training

In 2023, APHN formalized a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Health, marking a pivotal step in delivering comprehensive Palliative Care training in Timor Leste. Collaborating seamlessly with Hospital Nacional Guido Valadares (HNGV) in Dili, we successfully conducted targeted training sessions for healthcare professionals from the main national hospital, district referral hospitals, and NGOs. Currently executing the second module of our planned six, the APHN-Lien Collaborative for Palliative Care Training program has already trained 28 participants from HNGV Dili and five District Referral Hospitals, namely Eduardo Ximenes Regional Hospital, Maliana Referral Hospital, Maubisse Referral Hospital, Oe-cusse Referral Hospital, and Suai Referral Hospital.

L to R: Dr Mingota Herculano, Mr Giam Cheong Leong, Dr Flavio Brandao (Vice Minister of Health), Dr Sylvia McCarthy, Dr Terlinda DeVe (Director General of Hospital Services), Dr Andre Belos (SABEH CEO)
Ministry of Health office, Timor Leste

We extend our appreciation to the Ministry of Health, HNGV, and SABEH (Saude Ba Ema Hotu) for aligning with APHN’s vision, dedicated to extending palliative care to diverse communities by establishing sustainable capabilities in service development, advocacy, education, and research.

Our discussions with Vice-Minister of Health Dr Flavio Brandao have been instrumental in shaping initiatives to make palliative care more accessible throughout the country. Dr. Flavio, a staunch advocate, played a key role in bringing the APHN program to Timor Leste. He has entrusted Dr Mingota (HNGV) and Mr Andre Bello (SABEH) to oversee and support the development and training of the palliative care program.

Faculty with HOREX Excecutive Director, Dr Evangelino Roque Soares

In a proactive approach, our faculty visited district hospitals to assess local needs, ensuring a thorough understanding of the landscape to enhance and refine our training program. The Lien Collaborative program emphasizes hands-on, real-life cases, allowing participants to practice and enhance their ability to serve the needs of patients and their families.

Bedside teaching preparation by faculty

We are pleased to note that the Ministry of Health is exploring two potential sites in the districts (Liquisa and Manatuto) to establish palliative care centers, extending their outreach to the broader community.

Potential site in Liquisa, earmarked for palliative care centre

The overall success of the program relies on the close collaboration of all stakeholders, including support from the Ministry of Health, the partnering tertiary hospital, local participating hospitals, NGOs, and our esteemed faculty. The dedicated faculty volunteers for the Lien Collaborative program in Timor Leste include Dr. Sylvia McCarthy (Malaysia), Dr. Dipti Mittal (Australia), Dr. Ann Toh (Singapore), Ms. Rachael Anthony (Malaysia), and Ms. Joan Ryan (Australia). Leading the team is Mr. Giam CL (Singapore), APHN Executive Director, with invaluable support from the Lien Foundation.

Written by Mr Giam Cheong Leong (APHN Executive Director )

This project is a Lien Collaborative for Palliative Care initiative to build capacity in developing countries in Asia. The Lien Collaborative for Palliative Care was co-developed by the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network (APHN) and the Lien Foundation.

Published on: 13 February, 2024 | Last modified: 13 February, 2024