UNICEF and the European Union focus on improving the health and nutrition of mothers and children in Timor-Leste

17 January 2020
UNICEF and the European Union focus on improving the health and nutrition of mothers and children in Timor-Leste
UNICEF Timor-Leste/2020/Monemnasi

BAUCAU MUNICIPALITY, 17 January 2020: The Ministry of Health (MOH) with support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the European Union (EU) today is launching the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) strategy at the Convention Centre in Baucau Municipality. This plan will directly trigger activities both at the institutional and at the community level, which aim to improve the health and nutrition status of children, their mothers and their communities. 

H.E. Señor Antonio Guterres, President of Baucau Municipality, Dr. Odete da Silva Viegas, Director General of Health Service Delivery at the Ministry of Health, Mr. Simon le Grand, Head of Cooperation at the European Union and acting representative of the EU Delegation in Timor-Leste, and Ms Valérie Taton, UNICEF Representative in Timor-Leste, were in attendance to launch the activities.

The ceremony and related activities were organized and facilitated by the President of the Authority of Baucau Municipality and the Director of Municipality Health Services. Fifty-nine suco chiefs, six administrators of Administrative Posts, nine Community Health Centre (CHC) managers, relevant institutions, partners and community representatives all participated. 

 “The European Union well recognises the Timor-Leste Government and Ministry of Health’s strong commitment to reducing malnutrition through political declarations and sound national policies. The development and implementation of the Baucau Municipality “Planu Asaun Komunidade Saneamento no Ijiene” is a good example of how to translate these national commitments into appropriate government financial investment and actions, both at central and municipality levels,” said Mr. Simon Le Grand.

A lack of access to sanitation has real human costs, leading to disease, malnutrition and premature deaths. Recent studies and analysis show a strong link between open defecation and childhood stunting, which impacts negatively on cognitive development and future economic productivity.

In Timor-Leste, respiratory and diarrheal diseases remain the top two causes of infant and child mortality, both of which are strongly linked to inadequate sanitation and hygiene practices. As such, similar activities to those launched today in Baucau will soon be extended to Manatuto and Dili municipalities. 


“Improving sanitation is critical for reducing the risk of childhood illnesses and combating malnutrition,” said Ms. Taton.

“The 2013 Timor-Leste Food and Nutrition Survey revealed that children living in homes with a toilet are at lower risk of being stunted as compared to those living in homes without toilets. Community awareness, demand and ownership are crucial in moving away from open defection toward toilet use, and CLTS is globally recognized as a proven approach to make this happen. Linking CLTS with Mother Support Groups is also expected to sustain the municipality’s Open Defecation Free status, to facilitate improved sanitation, and to help communities live in a safe and clean environment.” 

The CLTS initiatives in Baucau, Manatuto and Dili are part of the government’s commitment to make Timor-Leste Open Defecation Free by 2020. To drive this goal forward, social and behaviour change communication activities that promote home and family key care practices associated with nutrition, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH), immunization, sanitation and hygiene will also be utilised. Mother Support Groups will be established in the three municipalities to assist in promoting these key care practices and to ensure the sustainability of healthy behaviours and practices in communities. 

These joint efforts by the Ministry of Health, the Municipality of Baucau, UNICEF and the European Union are part of a long-term strategy to improve the health, nutrition and overall wellbeing of every child in Timor-Leste, as well as their families and communities. 

For more information, please contact:

Ministry of Health, Government of Timor-Leste:
José Moniz, Chief of Environmental Health, Ministry of Health
Phone: +670-7825  8529; Email: josemoniz328@yahoo.com

European Union:
Marina Rini, Communication Officer, European Union in Timor-Leste
Email: mmarina.rini@gmail.com

UNICEF Timor-Leste:
Rukshan Ratnam, Communication Specialist, UNICEF Timor-Leste (English queries)
Phone: +670-7723 1103 Email: rratnam@unicef.org 

Antonio Gomes, Communication Officer, UNICEF Timor-Leste (Tetum queries)
Phone: +670-7723 2441 Email: angomez@unicef.org
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UNICEF ho Uniaun Europeia foka ba melloramentu saúde no nutrisaun inan no labarik sira iha Timor-Leste

MUNISIPIU BAUCAU, 17 Janeiru 2020: Ministeriu Saúde (MdS) ho apoiu husi Fundus Nasoins Unidas (UNICEF) no Uniaun Europeia (UE) lansa ohin estratejia Planu Asaun Komunidade ba Saneamentu no Ijiene (PAKSI) iha Sentru Konvensaun Munisipiu Baucau. Planu ne’e diretamente inisia atividade nivel institusional no iha komunidade, ne’ebe nia objetivu atu adi’ak labarik sira-nia estatutu saúde no nutrisaun, sira-nia inan no komunidade sira. 

Sua Exelensia Sr. Antonio Guterres, Prezidente Munisipiu Baucau, Dra. Odete da Silva Viegas, Diretor Jeral Prestasaun Saúde Ministeriu Saúde, Sr. Simon le Grand, Xefe Koperasaun Uniaun Europeia no enkaregadu reprezentativu husi Delegasaun Uniaun Europeia iha Timor-Leste, Sra. Valérie Taton, Reprezentativa UNICEF iha Timor-Leste, marka mós prezensa iha atividade lansamentu ne’e.

Serimonia ne’e ho nia atividade sira organiza no fasilita husi Prezidente Autoridade Munisipiu Baucau no Diretor Servisu Saúde Munisipiu sira. Suku 59, Administrador Postu 6, Jestor Sentru Saúde Komunitaria 9, instituisaun relevante sira, parseiru no reprezentante komunidade sira mós partisipa.

“Uniaun Europeia rekoñese di’ak Governu Timor-Leste no Ministeriu Saúde atu reduz malnutrisaun liu husi deklarasaun polítika sira no polítika nasional mak di’ak. Munisipiu Baucau nia dezenvolvimentu no implementasaun Planu Asaun Komunidade ba Saneamentu no Ijiene” ne’e ezemplu di’ak hodi oinsa atu traduz kompromisu nasional sira ba investimentu finansial apropriadu no asaun sira, iha nivel sentral no munisipiu,” dehan Sr. Simon le Grand.  

Asesu kuran ba saneamentu hamosu kustu umanu real sira, provoka moras, malnutrisaun no mate lalais. Estudu no analize foin lalais ne’e hatudu ligasaun entre soe foer bo’ot arbiru ho labarik ki’ik raes-badak, ne’ebe fó impaktu negativu ba dezenvolvimentu kognitivu no produtiva ekonomia iha futuru. 

Iha Timor-Leste, moras respiratoriu no diareia nafatin a’as hela ba kauza rua husi mortalidade infantil no labarik ki’ik, sira rua hotu iha ligasaun ba sanitasaun kuran no pratíka ijiene sira. Hanesan atividade sira mak lansa ohin loron iha Baukau sei habelar lalais ba munisipiu Manatuto no Dili. 

“Melloramentu sanitasaun ne’e kritíku ba redusaun risku moros ba labarik ki’ik no kombate malnutrisaun, “ dehan Sra. Taton.

“Peskiza Aihan no Nutrisaun 2013 hatudu katak labarik sira moris iha uma-kain ho sintina hetan risku ki’ik-liu ba moras raes-badak kompara ho sira ne’ebe moris iha uma-kain la ho sintina. Konsiensia komunidade, eziji no propriedade krusial tebes atu husik soe foer bo’ot arbiru ba uza sintina, no PAKSI ne’e globalmente koñesidu hanesan abordajen komprovada atu realiza.  Ligasaun PAKSI ho Grupu Suporta Inan mós atu sustenta musipiu estatutu la soe foer bo’ot arbiru, atu fasilita melloramentu sanitasaun, no atu ajuda komunidade sira moris iha ambiente moos no seguru.”  

Inisiativa PAKSI iha Baucau, Manatuto no Dili halo parte governu nia kompromisu atu halo Timor-Leste livre husi soe foer arbiru iha 2020. Atu realiza meta ne’e, atividade komunikasaun mudansa hahalok sosial mak promove pratíka kuidadu iha uma no iha familia asosia ho nutrisaun, saúde maternal, bebe foin moris no saúde labarik ki’ik, imunizasaun, sanitasaun no ijiene sei halo hanesan mós. Grupu Suporta Inan sei estabelese iha munisipiu tolu atu asiste iha promosaun pratíka kuidadu xave sira no atu garante sustentabilidade hahalok saudavel no ptatíka sira iha komunidade sira. 

Esforsu konjunta husi Ministeriu Saúde, Munisipiu Baucau, UNICEF no Uniaun Europeia mak parte estratejia prazu naruk atu hadi’ak saúde, nutrisaun no labrik-nia moris di’ak hotu iha Timor-Leste, nune’e mós sira-nia familia no komunidade sira. 

Ba informasaun detallu, bele kontaktu:

Ministeriu Saúde, Governu Timor-Leste:
José Moniz, Chief of Environmental Health, Ministry of Health
Phone: +670 78258529; Email: josemoniz328@yahoo.com

Uniaun Europeia:
Marina Rini, Communication Officer, European Union in Timor-Leste
Email: mmarina.rini@gmail.com

UNICEF Timor-Leste:
Rukshan Ratnam, Communication Specialist, UNICEF Timor-Leste (English queries)
Phone: +670-7723 1103 Email: rratnam@unicef.org 

Antonio Gomes, Communication Officer, UNICEF Timor-Leste (Tetum queries)
Phone: +670-7723 2441 Email: angomez@unicef.org
 

Media Contacts

Rukshan Ratnam

Communication Specialist (English)

UNICEF Timor-Leste

Tel: +67077231103

Tel: +670 331 1300, Extension: 1820

Antonio Gomes

Communication Officer (Tetum)

UNICEF Timor-Leste

Tel: +670 7723 2441

Tel: +670 331 1300, Extension: 1821

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF Timor-Leste and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/timor-leste

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