Paul Bragg Visits Bairo Pite Clinic, Dili, Timor-Leste
In April 2017 Paul Bragg visited Timor-Leste as part of the CPAG Local Content Plan initiative. This was the third such visit by Paul. The Bairo Pite Clinic operates out of Timor’s capital, Dili, providing free health care to some of the poorest, sickest people of Timor Leste.
Established in 1999 by Dr Dan Murphy, the clinic is a not-for-profit Nongovernmental Organisation, that faces many challenges. Managing high birth rates, high infant mortality, malnutrition, HIV, and tuberculosis, their primary cases are far removed from the mechanisms of Australia’s health care system.
Through existing contacts, CPAG Health and Medical secured an opportunity to provide some training and advice to the driver of the Bairo Pite Clinic, some of whom, despite having worked for the organisation for over a decade, had limited training in first aid.
Time was allocated this year to assist a local Timorese Medical student, Alfredo Bianco, who is studying at UNTL, his education sponsored by a small community in Australia. While in Timor Leste, Paul helped Alfredo overcome some current difficulties, and assisted him in applying for his results at the university, a requirement of his scholarship.
Paul also spent a day in the new ConocoPhillips Dili office, teaching 11 staff first aid and use of the Automatic External Defibrillator (AED). This training was well received, with topics covering CPR, choking, asthma, shock, spinal trauma, and seizures, hyperthermia, and snake bites, to name a few.
Paul stood by with drivers at the clinic, and participated in a facilitation workshop, and ambulance driver training.
Since 2015, when the training began, CPAG facilitated a donation by Ambulance Victoria of two 12 Lead ECG monitors, and proceeded to instruct the staff on how to use them. Unfortunately, due to power fluctuations in the capital, the monitor’s batteries malfunctioned and the clinic was left with only one operational battery. Ahead of the 2017 training, Paul was able to contact Laerdal, who generously donated an AC adaptor battery. He also successfully negotiated a donation agreement with MEM-Darwin, ensuring the monitors as the Bairo Pite Clinic will undergo annual maintenance.
Paul will continue to engage with the Bairo Pite Clinic, and will be available for problem solving, training with new monitors, and coordinate their maintenance via MEM’s donation. There also exists an offer to work with the National Ambulance Service, either by instigating CPAG ambulance training in Timor-Leste, or facilitating an exchange programme with Australian and Timorese paramedics.
Clearly, the work being done at the Bairo Pite Clinic is of great significance. In Paul’s own words:
“The direct benefits the Bairo Pite Clinic continue to have on the people of Timor Leste are obvious and profound. The great work they do with HIV, TB and malnourished infant and child patients is a humbling experience.
The opportunity for CPAG to support in this capacity is one we cherish and look forward to developing in the future.
The positive impact to the life and health on the Timorese community that the staff at the Bairo Pite Clinic provides is a humbling experience, part of this trip was funded with thanks to CPAG and CoP and part was in my own time, working with these people over the past three years has left me with no doubt in my mind that the people who make up the clinic are of rare, exceptional calibre. It is a clinic that I believe strongly in its value and impact. My family now donate to the clinic every month, as does the CPAG Medical Director (Scott Wilkinson) and his family.”
For more information regarding the Bairo Pite Clinic:
The ABC Foreign Correspondent programme documented a piece on the clinic available here: