There's a lot people can do to maintain their health as long as they have the right information. Through our network of volunteers and staff, we visit communities and teach them how to prevent diseases such as dengue and malaria.
Dengue and malaria are major health concerns in Timor-Leste and CVTL works closely with the Ministry of Health (MoH) to reduce the risk of contraction. From 2011-2014 CVTL distributed almost 2,500 mosquito nets to 2000 families in predominantly high-risk areas. The distribution of nets was coupled with an awareness raising campaign that highlighted practical solutions to safeguard against these potentially fatal diseases such as eradicating mosquito breeding grounds and avoiding bites. As part of the coordinated MoH program, and in conjunction with World Health Organization (WHO), CVTL played a significant role following the urban outbreak of dengue fever in 2013/14, with CVTL volunteers conducting a door-to-door campaign that provided timely information on how to contain the outbreak and prevent further cases.
The Community Based Health and First Aid (CBHFA) program, developed the capacity of community volunteers through training and workshops. These sessions concentrated on basic health and hygiene awareness that go hand in hand with safe access to water and sanitation. Hand washing, boiling of water and proper food preparation practices eliminates the risk of diarrhea, especially among children under five. Developing practical First Aid skills tailored to specific communities and the local environment following a vulnerability capacity assessment is also a key component of the program. These groups, equipped with knowledge and skills, are tasked with the dissemination of information that will increase understanding, awareness and result in changing behavior within their respective communities. Over the last five years this knowledge sharing has reached 28,024 vulnerable people and CVTL has distributed more than 1,500 first aid kits.