Posted by Bente McDonald, District 9560 on Mar 27, 2023


Rotary District 9560 hosted a group of 14 Timor-Leste midwives and nurses in a Vocational Training Team that attended a 5-week Maternal and Child Health Course at Central Queensland University Mackay Campus.    

Funded by a Rotary Foundation Global Grant, with assistance from the Mackay/Whitsunday area Rotary clubs, the course was especially organised to present different procedures and knowledge not readily available to the group in Timor-Leste. 

Timor Leste has one of the highest rates of maternal, infant and perinatal mortality in the world.  For example, a woman giving birth in a Timor Leste hospital is 14 more times likely to die, or have her baby die than one giving birth in an Australian hospital.   

On their return to Timor Leste, the team will present the outcomes of their training and prepare a project plan to improve their health care system. For example, implementation of a routine head to toe examination of newborns, a standard practice in Australia, which can lead to a change in practice.  

RI Foundation Chair and Trustee, Ian Riseley spoke at the Team’s graduation: 

Whilst their course was jam-packed, the team still managed time out for recreation, visits and tours.