A Volunteer Nurse in Timor Leste
Some of our volunteers are humble and do not always see how much value they deliver or understand the huge benefit of what they do. We believe (and hope) that the benefits emerge on many fronts: there are warm smiles and words of gratitude received from the patients, volunteers share their knowledge and experience with the local staff, and tangible contributions are donated to continue the work. Most importantly volunteers demonstrate that someone cares – by just being there.
DocTours received the following feedback from staff in Timor Leste: Thank you so much for your hard work, understanding, and wonderful support in finding enthusiastic, skilful volunteers to assist at the Clinic in Maucatar. Sr Gilbert said how lovely it was to have a Volunteer Nurse in Timor Leste and they are grateful for all Jodi’s enthusiasm, work and support. “I am so grateful to Jodi and to everyone who ensured her visit was such a success. Please thank Jodi for me for her compassion and care in volunteering to help others who are in such need and I hope and pray she has returned home safe and sound. I wish her well for her future. With very best wishes.”
DocTours also received great feedback from Nurse Jodi: “I had a great time in Timor-Leste and was made to feel very welcome. Beautiful country and people. The information pack I received was thorough and provided ample information. The accommodation was great, I had not realised it was a boarding area for the school girls also. I really enjoyed my experience. Clinically we were dealing with LRTI and skin infections, lots of scabies! It was interesting to learn about the protocols used and provide feedback and ideas on system we use in our health systems and medication protocols. Thank you so much for the support and opportunity to spend time in Timor-Leste. “
Nurse and educator Jodi spent two weeks in Timor Leste during June. As well as contributing her skills and insight to the clinic’s undertakings, she was able to give the staff an update on the Days for Girls (DfG) menstruation kits. Jodi is a member of a group in her home in New Zealand and has since advised they are able to send some kits for the clinic to give to new mums. This will be a welcome supplement to the kits we are expecting and will be distributed via the schools. Days for Girls has a great website about their world-wide program which is worth a look.
Jodi was involved in the Ante Natal education session held in the training annex for many of the local mums-to-be. It was combined with nutritional advice for young children with a practical demonstration, and food for everyone to enjoy afterwards.
Supply of medications continues to be one of the major problems in Timor Leste. The monthly deliveries from the Suai District Health department are now regular, but still only provide a bare minimum of medications in small quantities. Sister Gilbert travels to Dili to purchase badly needed medications. They often have access to only three antibiotics, (Metronidazole, Amoxicillin, and Cotrimoxazole (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim). The supply of Cloxacillin ran out a while back, so we’re really restricted with options for treatment. There’s not much we can do about this, as apart from Ciprofloxacin and Doxycycline there’s not much else available in Timor Leste.
But despite the frustrations and limitations, patients continue to be treated successfully. And most importantly, the mums and bubs continue to be healthy and safe with the clinic facilities and the home visits.
Doctors are badly needed at the clinic and therefore please read about more opportunities to volunteer in Timor Leste: .https://doctours.com.au/tour/timor-leste/