An early morning ceremony at Dili International Airport Friday May 29 marked the arrival of Timor-Leste’s first shipment of emergency medicines to bolster the health system during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The medicines and medical equipment, procured with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) assistance, have been sourced from quality-assured sources in China and Europe and will support treatment of Covid-19 and other critical illnesses.
Further shipments of medicines and medical equipment are expected in the near future as part of a $5.7 million procurement deal signed between the UNDP and Government of Timor-Leste on April 1, 2020.
At the beginning of the crisis on April 1 the UNDP and the Government of Timor-Leste moved quickly to procure medicines and medical equipment for coronavirus and other critical illnesses.
The UNDP worked closely with SAMES, the National Laboratory and Department of Pharmacy of Ministry of Health in the procurement processes to ensure the quality of medical supplies, devices and medicines. The UNDP actions are ongoing in support of the Ministry of Health’s efforts to strengthen all health facilities.
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Corporation, Mr. Dionísio da Costa Babo Soares thanked the UNDP saying, “this support is highly appreciated … if we find ourselves with local COVID transmission, we will already have our medicine, so we are very thankful to UNDP.”
UNDP Resident Representative Tuya Altangerel reaffirmed the organisation’s commitment to supporting Timor-Leste during this unprecedented period.
“Amid the high market fluctuations affected by Covid-19 pandemic, UNDP continues to work around the clock to ensure the requests of the Government are met and shipments arrive in Dili soon,” Ms. Altangerel said.