Timorese doctors leading the way

Stories | June 22, 2018

Jillian Ferguson, Disability Inclusion Advisor at CBM, reports back on the positive outcome of her trip to Timor where disability inclusive training has been conducted.

It’s not uncommon for people with disabilities to face barriers to accessing everyday health services. People with disabilities are often unable to receive essential vaccinations and access medication for treatable or preventable medical conditions.

The biggest barrier

Across the world, people with disabilities report negative attitudes as the biggest barrier.

They often face stigma and struggle to access essential everyday health services. For example, it might come from the security guards at the clinics or the actual health care professionals.

Leading the way in disability inclusion

Thankfully the Timorese government is committed to training health workers in Disability Inclusive practices and health care workers are eager and responsive to learn about how to better serve and treat people with disabilities.

The Timorese Disabled Person’s Organisation Ra’es Hadomi Timor Oan (RHTO), the Partnerships for Human Development and CBM Australia are supporting the Timorese government to lead the way.

Meeting at the Royal Australian College of Surgeons training centre, a group of young doctors in Timor-Leste came together for training.

The aim: to end discrimination in health.

From this, together the students learnt about the real experiences of people with disabilities.

They explored strategies about how many of the barriers to accessing health services can be removed.

The outcome of training

At the end of the training, the young doctors strongly stated their commitment to health for all.

Next they came up with a range of strategies to bring to their future work as doctors.

It is hoped from this that health services can be accessed by everyone in the community, including people with disabilities.

Timor-Leste is one of the world’s newest nations. It is forging ahead with laying the foundations for a future that leaves no one behind.

Finally the Ministry of Health together with RHTO, the Partnerships for Human Development and CBM are working together.

Together they are aiming to create a plan to share this disability inclusive health training with all health workers across Timor.

To read a similar article about CBM trained staff in India, learn about Vision Guardians here.

Photo: Jillian Ferguson (left) with Timorese doctors at disability inclusion training.


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