A landmark new agreement between Timor-Leste’s major public hospital and East Timor Hearts Fund will see more surgeries performed in Timor-Leste and more training opportunities for Timorese medical practitioners.

East Timor Hearts Fund CEO David Marlow said Timor-Leste had one of world’s highest rates of preventable, treatable rheumatic heart disease, with one in 20 girls suffering from the condition.

“Coordinated action by government and non-government health organisations will be critical in effectively tackling the rheumatic heart disease crisis in Timor-Leste,” Mr Marlow said.

“This agreement with Hospital Nacional Guido Valadares is great news for our shared heart health work. It will see more surgery in Australia and Timor-Leste, more training and education and more joint research.”

The executive director of Dili’s Hospital Nacional Guido Valadares, Dr Aniceto Barreto, commended East Timor Hearts Fund’s long-standing work with the hospital to save lives.

“They are a critical partner helping us deliver excellence in heart health care, heart disease prevention, skills development and life-saving surgeries for the people of Timor-Leste,” he said.

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