NEWS CENTRE

Mercy Works Inc. to build TB clinic in Timor Leste

Mercy Works Inc. announced this week that it would respond to a request from the people of Fohorem in Timor Leste, to build a tuberculosis (TB) clinic in their community.

Gaye Lennon RSM, Mercy Works Inc. Offshore and Indigenous Projects Co-ordinator, said this decision follows considerable consultation with the local people, the Timor Leste Ministry of Health and other partners.

“Since 2008 Mercy Works Inc. has negotiated with the Timor Leste Ministry of Health for approval to construct a maternal and child health centre in Fohorem. While approval was given to proceed with the centre in 2009, the Ministry of Health announced shortly afterwards it was withdrawing approval because the Timor Leste Government, in the lead-up to the 2012 elections, had decided to build maternal and child health centres,” she explained.

“Maternal and child mortality rates are very high in Timor Leste, so the government’s decision to construct maternal and child health centres is welcomed, but the prevalence of tuberculosis throughout the country is also very serious.”

Gaye said the people of Fohorem had asked Mercy Works Inc. if they would transfer funding allocated for the maternal and child health centre to the construction of a TB clinic in their community.

At its October 2010 meeting, the Board of Mercy Works Inc. decided to proceed with the TB clinic. Mercy Works Inc. and its partner Rotary Dilli have also been engaged in dialogue with the Timor Leste Ministry of Health who have given approval for the project.

”This has been a long drawn-out journey but one that will benefit the health needs of the community in Fohorem,” said Gaye.

“We would like to acknowledge all previous donations given for the construction of the maternal and child health centre, and inform all donors and supporters that these donations will be allocated to the building of the new TB clinic unless directed otherwise.

“Mercy Works Inc. is grateful for the continued commitment of Rotary Mosman NSW who will be providing building construction expertise for the project,” she said.