A transformative initiative to end tuberculosis in Timor-Leste

Doorstep Treatment Support

No one should die from a disease that is treatable and preventable

— yet tuberculosis kills over a million people worldwide each year.

 

Timor-Leste, an island nation in Southeast Asia, has the world’s 10th highest incidence rate of tuberculosis (TB). With a large portion of the population living in poverty with limited access to healthcare, the delivery of TB treatment and prevention remains a challenge.

In partnership with Timor-Leste’s largest free healthcare center, Bairo Pite Clinic, we have a plan to end TB.

The Problem

Over 40% of the population in Timor-Leste is stuck in the cycle of poverty, which is a major cause for the high incidence of TB. If we break down the cycle of poverty, here’s what some of those contributing factors look like.

Inaccessible Healthcare

Many people are unable to afford the cost of care and the transportation to a health facility, leaving them to forego treatment. Additionally, a shortage of medical supplies, trained health professionals and auxiliary staff lead to a low availability of critical care.

Congested Living Spaces

With suboptimal housing conditions and large family units, a sick person who does not receive the appropriate treatment will infect his or her household members. Statistically, only 57% of the people with active disease will actually get treated. 

Lack of TB Awareness

Those who are receiving TB treatment often have been living for months with an infectious cough prior to getting care. Without an adequate understanding of TB, they are not aware of the danger of TB and the best practices to prevent spreading the disease.

Our Solution

We partnered with Bario Pite Clinic to bring TB care right to the patient’s home. Here’s how we achieve that.

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TRAIN LOCAL HEALTHCARE WORKERS

Local healthcare workers are trained at Bairo Pite Clinic to visit patients and their families at their homes to see treatment to completion. It is a patient-centered program that makes TB care more flexible and responsive to the needs of each patient and raises awareness to keep communities safe from TB.

Five local healthcare workers have been employed and are paid a living wage

VISIT PATIENT HOMES

Healthcare workers obtain permission from patients to arrange regular visitation to their homes. There, the healthcare workers cover how the treatment works and how to prevent the transmission of TB. Healthcare workers then ask patients about they people they have come in contact with while they were symptomatic in order to identify household members at risk of contracting or spreading TB. Those with TB-like symptoms are brought to a physician for a health evaluation. 

Over 1,600 household contacts have been screened for TB symptoms

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PROVIDE PREVENTATIVE THERAPY FOR CHILDREN

Children aged five and under — who are considered most vulnerable to contracting TB — are given special care. Those who do not have TB-like symptoms are evaluated to receive Isoniazid Preventive Therapy (IPT), which has been shown to significantly reduce their risk of developing TB.

Over 300 children have started preventative therapy

MONITOR PROGRESS AND RAISE TB AWARENESS

After a diagnosis and an initiation of treatment, healthcare workers visit patients and their families every two weeks to evaluate treatment progress and provide support until everyone is cured and protected from TB. Additionally, healthcare workers teach them how TB spreads and how to avoid infections.

84% of children who have started IPT have successfully completed treatment

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COLLECT DATA AND MEASURE IMPACT

Staff physicians provide regular training for the healthcare workers and staff members of the program. Healthcare workers receive direct on-site supervision from the TB program coordinator, who manages all patient care. Healthcare workers are considered an important part of the healthcare workforce and receive a competitive wage. All activity is recorded and monitored on a regular basis by the TB program staff physicians.

Project Plus One and Bairo Pite Clinic are proud to have the support of the National Tuberculosis Program’s Global Fund, the English Family Foundation, and the British Medical Association

SUPPORT THIS LIFE-SAVING PROGRAM

Visit our Crowdrise campaign below to donate. Your generosity and support are greatly appreciated.


Project Plus One is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit and your contribution will be considered a deductible charitable donation.