We’ve assembled an expert panel to share with you Timor-Leste’s approach to managing COVID-19 during these unprecedented times. Moderated by Sarah Moon, the webinar will be held via Zoom on Thursday, August 27 at 7.30 pm AEST (6.30 pm TLT).

With 25 cases and no deaths, Timor-Leste has prevented a catastrophic situation in this first phase of the global pandemic. However without a vaccine available and limited healthcare resources, uncertainty remains. Our expert panel comprising Dr Rui Maria de Araújo, Alzira dos Reis and Dr Rajesh Pandav, will discuss Timor-Leste’s response to tackling COVID-19 on the ground and at a national level.

The event will feature…

Sarah MoonModerator

Sarah has worked as a public health manager and consultant around the world in Australia for a range of organizations including Menzies School of Health Research, The World Bank, Australian Red Cross, Medecins Sans Frontieres, Health Alliance International, James Cook University, and Queensland Health. She spent 10 years (2000-2010) in East Timor working with the Ministry of Health and non-governmental organisations supporting the reconstruction and development of East Timor’s Health System.

Sarah currently holds a position in the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria, working in the contact tracing unit as part of the state’s response to Covid 19.

Our panellists

Dr Rui Maria de Araújo

Dr Rui Maria de Araújo, was the Prime Minister of Timor-Leste from 2015 – 2017.

Prior to being elected as Prime Minister, Dr Araújo served in the government in a variety of capacities including Minister for Health, Deputy Prime Minister of Social Affairs and was appointed to the Council of State, which was then the top state advisory body to the President of the Republic. He continued to serve in the health sector as an advisor to the Ministry of Health and later served as senior advisor to the Ministry of Finance.

In response to the emerging global pandemic, the Timorese government declared 3 months of emergency state (March to June 2020) and established a Situation Room within the Integrated Crisis Management Centre at the Prime Minister’s Office, to coordinate an intersectoral response to the pandemic. Dr Araújo was appointed the coordinator of the intersectoral task force and one of the spokes persons of the Situation Room.

Alzira dos Reis

Driven with a desire to serve others, Alzira first joined the Alola Foundation in 2003 as a volunteer. Her tireless work to advance the rights of women in children in Timor-Leste through a range of roles eventuated in her appointment as CEO of the organisation in 2013. Alzira has also been on the board of several other women’s organisations and non-government organisations in Timor-Leste to provide her expertise and insight and is currently working as the National Planning and Monitoring Advisor in the Office of the Prime Minister. Alzira is also East Timor Hearts Fund’s Timorese Advisor.

Dr Rajesh Pandav

Dr Rajesh Pandav has led the Timor-Leste’s WHO country office since 2015. Dr Pandav’s association with WHO started in 2004 as a short term professional with Mental Health and Substance Abuse Unit in WHO SEARO. Since then he has served in various capacities including: Temporary International Professional for Planning and Programme Management, WHO Country Office for Maldives, (2007-2008); Medical Officer (Public Health,) WHO Country Office for Maldives, (2009-2011); and Health Policy Advisor, WHO Country Office for Timor Leste, (2011-March 2015).

Prior to joining WHO, Dr Pandav was a senior medical researcher both in the USA and India and has co-authored several scientific publications.

Places are limited. Register today and join the conversation.

Join our mailing list
Donate now


Dr Rui Maria de Araujo


Alzira dos Reis


Dr Rajesh Pandav